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Homer's Odyssey [Hardcover]

Gwen Cooper
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Aug. 25 2009
Once in nine lives,
something extraordinary happens...

The last thing Gwen Cooper wanted was another cat. She already had two, not to mention a phenomenally underpaying job and a recently broken heart. Then Gwen’s veterinarian called with a story about a three-week-old eyeless kitten who’d been abandoned. It was love at first sight.

Everyone warned that Homer would always be an “underachiever,” never as playful or independent as other cats. But the kitten nobody believed in quickly grew into a three-pound dynamo, a tiny daredevil with a giant heart who eagerly made friends with every human who crossed his path. Homer scaled seven-foot bookcases with ease and leapt five feet into the air to catch flies in mid-buzz. He survived being trapped alone for days after 9/11 in an apartment near the World Trade Center, and even saved Gwen’s life when he chased off an intruder who broke into their home in the middle of the night.

But it was Homer’s unswerving loyalty, his infinite capacity for love, and his joy in the face of all obstacles that inspired Gwen daily and transformed her life. And by the time she met the man she would marry, she realized Homer had taught her the most important lesson of all: Love isn’t something you see with your eyes.

Homer’s Odyssey is the once-in-a-lifetime story of an extraordinary cat and his human companion. It celebrates the refusal to accept limits—on love, ability, or hope against overwhelming odds. By turns jubilant and moving, it’s a memoir for anybody who’s ever fallen completely and helplessly in love with a pet.

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“A wonderful book for animal lovers."—Temple Grandin, author of Animals in Translation
“Entertaining, heart-warming, and sometimes heart-wrenching….Throughout, Homer entertains with his insatiable curiosity and joie de vivre...I couldn’t put the book down and I read half the passages aloud to my husband. I guarantee you’ll find the book as engaging as I did.”—Catster
“Moving and inspiring . . . a three-hankie tale of life and the love that can exist between owner and pet.”—Florida Times-Union

“This memoir about adopting a special-needs kitten teaches that sometimes in life, you have to take a blind leap.”—People

“Cooper is a genial writer with both a sense of humor and a gift for conveying the inner essence of an animal. . . . The indefatigable feline should be an inspiration to us all.”—The Christian Science Monitor

“A must-read for anyone who has ever loved an animal.”—Free Lance-Star (VA)

“A marvelous book! Moving, insightful and often hilarious, Homer’s Odyssey is about a blind cat with a spirit of epic proportions. Read and rejoice!”—Sy Montgomery, author of The Good Good Pig
 “Delightful…this lovely human-feline memoir, following in the footsteps of Vicki Myron's best-selling Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World, is sure to warm the hearts of all pet lovers.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“Heartwarming and entertaining.”—PEOPLE Pets
“A wonderful story celebrating the profound bond that can form between feline and human, Homer’s Odyssey is an inspiring read, and a perfect holiday gift for any cat lovers on your list.”—Feline Wellness
“It took only a glance at the foreword, and before I knew it I was devouring the whole thing like a warm brownie sundae….It was Homer who most often proved to be the hero, once even saving Cooper’s life when an intruder broke into her apartment. (This story alone is worth the price of the book.)”—Christian Science Monitor
 “A guaranteed hit with any cat lover…but the account of Cooper’s struggles with her career and love life will also appeal to readers of similar memoirs about twentysomething women (Julie and Julia, for example), as well as to the growing audience for stories of challenging pets of all kinds (Marley and Me).”—Booklist
“Tender and affecting.”—Publishers Weekly

“Touching . . . one not to miss.”—USA Today
"Homer's Odyssey will make you jump for joy!"—Rita Mae Brown, New York Times bestselling author of Cat of the Century
"I am certain it would be impossible to meet Homer without falling in love with him and it is just as difficult to read this loving account without coming away with a renewed faith in the unique bond that can sometimes arise between two alien species.  Gwen Cooper writes with humor, with wit, with candor and most of all with irresistible warmth for this astonishing little feline who will steal your heart."—Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, New York Times bestselling author of The Nine Emotional Lives of Cats and When Elephants Weep
“An inspiring story of two souls, one human and one feline, who face significant obstacles on their quest for love. A charming and sometimes humorous tale of what everyday courage and perseverance can look like. And to anyone who knows cats, it comes as no surprise that it is often the feline who leads the way.”—Susan Richards, author of Chosen By a Horse and Chosen Forever
"Homer’s Odyssey will capture your heart and enrich your soul.  Homer’s courageous spirit and triumphant optimism are an inspiration to all who share his story."—Dr. Louise Murray, Director of Medicine, ASPCA Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital, and author of Vet Confidential
"Homer's Odyssey eloquently demonstrates that the bond between felines and their humans is requisite for our enlightenment."—Jim Edgar, author of My Cat Hates You and Bad Cat
“A heart-warming and charming memoir of how adopting a sightless kitten brought joy and love (and new direction) into a woman's life.”—Shelf Awareness
“Irresistible.”—The Toronto Sun

About the Author

Gwen Cooper is the author of the novel Diary of a South Beach Party Girl. A Miami native, she spent five years working in nonprofit administration, marketing, and fundraising. She coordinated volunteer activities on behalf of organizations including Pet Rescue, the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind, the Miami Rescue Mission, and His House Children’s Home, and initiated Reading Pen Pals, an elementary school-based literacy program in Miami’s Little Haiti. Gwen currently lives in Manhattan with her husband, Laurence.  She also lives with her three perfect cats–Scarlett, Vashti, and Homer--who aren’t impressed with any of it.

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love and Adventure, with Cats Oct. 22 2009
There are a lot of stories about animals, both fact and fiction, and their immense popularity is consistent: they are mostly heartwarming and sentimental, and remind us of what our "best selves" can accomplish. Gwen Cooper's story, of the 12 year journey shared with Homer, an abandoned kitten rendered blind by life-saving surgery, stands out, for approach and style. Cooper is a born storyteller with a deep appreciation for the whole history of storytelling and a keen sense of detail, so that Homer is named for the blind poet of the Odyssey, the great epic story of adventure and homecoming, and passages from that epic introduce each chapter. And Homer's tale is vividly, broadly referential: he is also Daredevil, the blind Marvel superhero and the Man Without Fear. The pathos of his situation quickly gives way to consistent emphasis on his strengths: his courage (he foils a burglar, and leaps tall bookcases in a single bound), his keen senses (he detects tuna and turkey even from great distances, and through firm packaging), his consistent friendliness and "good attitude" (most people would envy Homer's ability to make friends and influence people), and his consistent fierce devotion to Gwen. And yet the story is really as much Gwen's odyssey, and this is a witty, strikingly observant tale of becoming an adult at the turn of the 21st century; as the old certainty about rites of passage breaks down, and education doesn't guarantee a job for life, and numerous failed relationships precede finding the right one, maybe being an adult doesn't mean finding a job or buying a house or getting married and having children but more, as Gwen concludes, taking on responsibility for someone other than yourself. Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Homer's story will leave you smiling. July 27 2010
This was a great cat story...never maudlin, sometimes suspenseful, always inspiring. I appreciate animal stories that start with the bad stuff but end on a positive note. There's a nice romance for the author included too. And a first person account of being caught near the twin towers in Manhatten on the day they were destroyed -- very graphic, very scary. All in all the book was very well written, with likable characters and an amazing little cat.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Homer's Odyssey Jan. 8 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
True story of a small, black cat who is totally blind but has such a highly developed sense of smell that he can leap in the air and catch flies. Would make a delightful movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Such a good book! Aug. 16 2013
By Soph
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Incredible true story about a blind cat, but , what a smart, courageous and funny one! I read this during my vacation, and I couldn't put the book down. Started with a kitten striken by badluck whose eyes had to be removed. Nobody wanted to adopt him. Game over for him from the poor start. A generous soul (the author!) adopted him, and it was amazement from then on. A (cat) lifetime of a strong friendship through thick and thin with Mrs Cooper, hours of pleasure to read. I cried and laughed, sometimes simultaneously. If you're a cat lover, it's a must.
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5.0 out of 5 stars makes you appreciate your cats even more Feb. 19 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Being a cat owner - this is something that hits you directly to the heart - makes you want to hug every cat you see
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is well written and endears you to this very special feline. Homer is blind but that doesn't stop him from being fearless and adventuresome. I felt so close to Homer that I really empathized for some of the trials he had to face. Sometimes I was even mad at the owner for crowding him and her other 2 cats into a small studio apartment for years, but it has a happy ending, so I forgave her. If you ever considered getting a disabled cat, this will convince you its worth it.
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