Read Homer's Odyssey by Gwen Cooper Online

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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 bOnce 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....

Title : Homer's Odyssey
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780385343855
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 287 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Homer's Odyssey Reviews

  • Rachel
    2019-03-17 08:14

    Sometimes you see little kids clutching books at the library and dramatically telling their friends, "OH MY GOD THIS IS THE BEST BOOK EVER" and I kind of feel that way about Homer's Odyssey, but I will try to have more dignity about it. ZOMG! A TINY BLIND KITTEH!Now that I've gotten that out of my system, I will say that this is different from the roughly one million other books about cats who teach their humans about love and life in that the author Gwen Cooper is not, how you say, socially awkward, and also she's a good, mostly unsentimental writer. Which is not to say that I didn't spend all of the chapters, "Mucho Gato," "A Hole in the Sky" and "September 12, 2001" in tears, but I cry all the time so you can't go by me.This is at heart a memoir of Cooper's mid-twenties to mid-thirties, built around Homer's story and that of her two other cats, Scarlet and Vashti. According to Cooper, Homer taught her that if you have the courage to leap blindly into the unknown then wonderful things can happen, but you also have to credit Cooper with being open to that idea. She just seems like a very cool person -- funny and smart and someone you'd want to hang out with -- and she makes it okay to be a little bit of a crazy cat lady.

  • Reese
    2019-03-07 12:15

    From a ridiculously long list of "to-read" books, I chose, shortly before the start of Passover, HOMER'S ODYSSEY: A FEARLESS FELINE TALE, OR HOW I LEARNED ABOUT LOVE AND LIFE WITH A BLIND WONDER CAT as my next "read." The coming of Passover had nothing to do with my looking at the shelves of waiting-to-be-next books and making Gwen Cooper's memoir the chosen one. Nevertheless, this choice turned out to be another "message" from the universe that, in a life in which so many occurrences seem random and senseless, at least some things happen BECAUSE they are supposed to and WHEN they are supposed to. A piece of the PROLOGUE of HOMER'S ODYSSEY provided an inspiring addition to this year's first-night Seder at our house. And I think that the following excerpt from Cooper's work is important enough to be shared with as many people as are willing to read/hear it: "MY FAVORITE MOMENT in the celebration of Passover -- the holiday commemorating G-d's leading Moses and the Israelites out of Egyptian slavery and into the Promised Land -- is always the Dayenu. . . . Hebrew for 'it would have been enough,' the Dayenu recounts the miracles G-d performed on behalf of the Israelites, insisting after each one that it, all on its own, would have been enough. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Living with Homer, over the past twelve years, I've composed a Dayenu of my own. If Homer had simply managed to live beyond two weeks of age, it would have been enough. If he had simply learned to find his food bowl and his litter box all on his own, it would have been enough. If he had simply learned to run, jump, play, and fearlessly do all the things they told me he might never do, it would have been enough. If he had simply made me laugh out loud every single day for a decade, it would have been enough. And if he had done nothing more than become one of the most loyal, affectionate, and courageous sources of joy and inspiration I've ever known . . . well, that would have been more than enough.In a seemingly hopeless situation, when no rational person could expect anything [ital.] good, yet somehow ends up receiving everything [ital.] good -- these are things we call miracles and wonders. A few of us are lucky enough to see such wonders in our everyday lives. So this book is for the others like me, but also for the ones who've given up believing in everyday miracles and heroes; for people who love cats and for people who consider themselves firmly anti-cat; for those who think normal [ital.] and ideal [ital.] mean the same thing, and for those who know that, sometimes, stepping slightly to the left of what's normal can enrich your whole life." (10-12)I DO love cats; and, like Cooper, I'm well acquainted with the experience of living with three cats. But I believe that my appreciation of HOMER'S ODYSSEY is, at most, thinly tied to my feelings about felines. I've already typed more than needs to be said about Cooper's book. Two words would have been enough: Read it.

  • Catherine
    2019-02-23 04:24

    I don't want to sound unkind, but I fear that will be inevitable.Gwen Cooper seems like a perfectly nice person, even if a bit self-important, but I feel like if she were in my wider social circles and I found out she was attending a function I would be like "...oh. Really? Gwen's coming?" because there is something about her tone that is unbelievably irritating. A friend bought this for me as a present because I have a blind kitten of my own (Dirty Diana, who is now 8 months old and has had both eyes removed) and thought I might enjoy the story. I, too, had high hopes but was so put off by the author's self-important and self-congratulatory tone that I found myself rolling my eyes more often than not.Having a blind cat does not make you special; having a blind cat who loves you does not make you special; overparenting does not mean you have a special bond. I'm sorry, Gwen Cooper, but this insight into your life and your mind have probably put me off of all of your writing forever.

  • Carol
    2019-03-15 09:09

    It is not fair to say that I "read" this book. To be honest, I read up to page 120. I never give up on books and usually force myself to persist until the end. Even one of my favorite books of all time, "The Poisonwood Bible," I almost gave up on several times during the first 100 pages. Recently, when the Goodreads newsletter came out and, at the top, it said "you've been reading Homer's Odyssey for 70 days" I was appalled. I knew I was having a lot of trouble finding time to read it, but let's face it -- when you're hooked on a book, you devour it -- finding 2 minutes here or there while you're stirring soup or waiting for a call back from someone or waiting for your prescription to be ready at Walgreens. So it hit me that to have only read less than 2 pages a day for the last 70 days, this book was never going to win me over. I tried very hard to like it. First, I won this as a Goodreads Giveaway and felt a responsibility to finish it - and hopefully love it! - in order to give it a fair review. That was difficult most days because I had two enticing books staring at me that I've been dying to read but was determined not to touch until I finished Homer. I've had several Giveaway books and have always submitted an objective review. Secondly, I am an animal lover. Admittedly, I favor dogs over cats, but have owned several and adore them. Thirdly, the book currently has received 4+ stars from reviewers, so I am definitely going against the grain and in the minority. To post this, I have had to consider just what about this book turns me off because who wouldn't love a blind cat? Have I no compassion? Maybe I'm just a curmudgeon, but I found it very tedious that the author consistently went through all the mental gymnastics that she attributed to the cat. I'm sure this kitten was lovable and cute beyond measure and adapted amazingly well to a world that he couldn't see. As living creatures are apt to do, he adapted. It happens in nature every day. A whole book describing his heroism and mental processes to navigate rooms, etc. really tried my patience. At several intervals, I found myself yelling to the author the quote attributed to Freud: sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Cats will play and cavort and careen, will climb things and play with their food. This is typical. That Homer was blind made being typical a challenge, but he achieved it. What I object to is Ms. Cooper's meandering insights into his mental machinations. I'm already imagining hearing a loud chorus of boos from readers who enjoyed this book. I am sorry. I really wanted to like it. When I read the synopsis, I wondered how the author was going to expand the antics of a blind cat into a whole book and now I know. I find it perplexing that someone has enough time to take apart and examine every action of a cat in this manner. The book is well written, I have to say. My objections only relate to content. Should writing ever dry up for the author, there is always cat whispering. She'd be very good at that. I just don't want to read about it.

  • ☮Karen
    2019-02-22 10:22

    When it comes to owning cats, I think a good rule of thumb is that one cat is fine, two are better (they keep each other entertained), but having three cats is bordering on making one a crazy cat lady if you are of the female persuasion. (Notice you never hear of a crazy cat man -- why is that? ) Anyway, Gwen already had two cats when she heard about Homer. Poor little Homer; born with a serious eye infection. The vet had to remove both eyes to save him, and then finding an adoptive home for the little guy was a struggle. Humans like their pets to look normal, not to mention cute and adorable, so it takes a special person to take in a kitten with no eyes. Gwen worried if she was up to the challenge but nevertheless agreed to take him because she knew no one else would. Best decision of her life.Homer is special in ways beyond his blindness. The feats he is able to perform bordered on amazing, but to mention them here would spoil it for those planning to read the book. Iwasabsolutely amazed, no other way to say it. He and Gwen illustrate that there are certainly a multitude of ways to overcome one's disabilities, and that you can find love, wisdom, and bravery where you least expect it. I laughed, I cried, I smiled a lot, and read parts aloud to anyone who would listen. A wonderful book if you like cats in the slightest. But don't call me crazy; I only have one.

  • Diane
    2019-03-03 07:19

    The primary reason for giving this book 5 stars, in addition to my obviously loving it, is because of the author. This is a genuine animal lover/animal rescuer who wants nothing more than to tell what Homer, a cat with no eyes that she adopted, did for her (and not vice-versa). Gwenn already had 2 rescued cats, Scarlett and Vashti, when a young and kind-hearted vet called her to tell her about a young abandoned kitten whose eyes had to be removed because they were so badly infected. Gwenn says she will 'meet' the kitten, with no promises of adopting him....HA! After about 30 seconds, Gwenn tells the vet "I'll take him".What follows is a story of love, patience and devotion, and lessons to be learned from a kitten who knows no fear or boundaries because he cannot see. We can all learn to take chances from this little guy. Gwenn and her little brood of 3 fall upon hard times in Florida, even needing to move back to Gwenn's parents home for a little while. Then, with Homer as inspiration, Gwenn applies for and receives a job offer in New York and off they go! Two very personal and emotional chapters are dedicated to the 9/11 tragedy when Gwenn was living in the Financial District of New York.The book spans 12 years, all told, and there are many laughs as we read about the antics of Homer, Scarlett and Vashti, as well as the ups and downs in Gwenn's life, particulary dating before she meets the man of her dreams. Probably the best part is that I have finally read a true animal story that ends before any of them pass away...so it ends on a very happy note.I am partial to the story since I too have 3 rescued cats of my own. I'm not sure if you will love this as much as I do if you don't have a strong love of cats, but if you, you should really give this book a go.

  • Hannah
    2019-03-20 06:22

    Really an exceptional read, and written much better then I had expected. I loved how Cooper started each of her chapters off with a quote from The Odyssey, and then proceeded to weave the quote into the story of her little blind dynamo kitty. Homer's Odyssey is much more then just a cat story. It's a book that can challenge all of us humans to live up to whatever potential we have within us. After laughing, crying and cheering over Homer's saga, I was left with the almost overpowering urge to find a blind kitty of my own.Kudos to Cooper for her inspiring story of the cat-who-could-and-did.

  • Jennifer
    2019-02-23 05:12

    UPDATE: Since reading this book, I've been following Homer and his antics on his Facebook page and his mom's blog. Sadly, Homer passed away on Wednesday, August 21, 2013. He was sixteen years old and lived such a full and loved life. Homer has touched my heart and the hearts of many others. Here is his mom reading from her book where she met Homer for the first time. Here is a touching blog post written by Homer's mom in his honor. “Every animal who’s given the chance to love and be loved can make someone else’s life better, can fill up empty places in our hearts we didn’t even know were there until they were full. And, once in a great while, one tiny creature can have a spirit so big that it spills over and makes the whole world just a little bit better, and happier, and more inspired, than it was before. Even in the darkest places are small lights that can grow and grow until they warm us all.” Run free, Homer, run free. ORIGINAL REVIEW: I instantly loved Homer. I am a undeniable believer that pets enrich and make our lives fuller. Maybe you are lucky enough to have that once-in-a-lifetime pet that is able to touch your life in a very deep and profound way. I have a black cat that was hand-raised from the age of four weeks as well. Although my cat is not blind, he was the runt of the litter, and due to some yucky habits (besides being black—stupid superstitions), he was the least liked in the litter and I feared him unadoptable. Be it destiny or fate or something or the other, tho not as dramatic as the beginning of Ms. Cooper’s journey with Homer, he became “mine,” and I happen to think he’s pretty darn wonderful. I don’t think I’ve ever had any being (human or otherwise) give me so much unconditional love in return. There is an obvious bond between us. This is what I kept attaching to throughout the book: Homer’s constant and fierce devotion to Ms. Cooper. I mean c’mon, the little guy even battled off a burglar/rapist!I laughed--out loud--when Ms. Cooper points out that (as I am all too aware) three cats do NOT do wonders for your dating life when you’re in your late 20s/early 30s. Oh the dating horrors! Her writing is so personable and so open; she enchants you with her weaving of she and Homer’s tale and irrevocably draws you in. I absolutely love her willingness to expose herself doing so with a healthy dose of humor and wit. Not only are you privy to Homer’s story and antics, you see the author grow as well through some very tough life experiences and how her life parallels that of her beloved pets (let’s not forget Scarlett and Vashti!). Reading about some of the events in Ms. Cooper’s life just punched me in the gut (i.e. 9/11, coping with so much human suffering, and panicking about leaving her pets at home). I’ve oft wondered what I would do if faced with a very serious challenge like that: What lengths would I go to in order to protect my furry family? The passage wasn’t self-aggrandizing at all, but I could definitely put myself in her shoes.What do you walk away learning from Homer? 1) Some things you just have to take on faith. Take that leap in to the great abyss and just know deep down in your knower that you will land on your feet. Life is an adventure, so live it to the fullest! 2) Adaptation and perseverance pays. Don’t sweat the small stuff! And don’t forget to take joy in the simple things. 3) Love is blind and something that goes way waaaaay deeper than just the eyes. And 4) The clichés keep coming, but it’s true. You should never, ever judge a book by its cover. You have no idea what kinds of gems in the rough you will find! Who wouldn’t love Homer?? Cat lover or not, I think everyone could learn something from this book. A fast read but certainly not fluff. I highly recommend this thoughtful book about love, life, and simple companionship. Three hurrahs for Homer! Now I’m going to go read and cuddle my cat…

  • Barbara
    2019-03-18 05:02

    At 24-years-old Gwen Cooper was already "mommy" to two cats, Vashti and Scarlett. So when a veterinarian friend asked Gwen to consider adopting a blind black two-week old kitten, Gwen was hesitant....this seemed like a lot to take on. But the sweet loving kittie immediately won Gwen's heart and "Homer" joined the family in the South Beach neighbohood of Miami. Despite his inability to see, Homer was anything but a 'fraidy cat.' The intrepid kitten was everywhere, investigating everything. He climbed bookcases, drapes, furniture, and people; he got into kitchen cabinets and unerringly found unopened cans of tuna ('feed me this'); he constantly tried to sneak up on Scarlett - from directly in front - not understanding how she always knew he was there; he loved to play fetch with his favorite stuffed toy - a worm with a bell; he made friends with almost everyone he met; Homer even viciously attacked a burglar and chased him out of Gwen's apartment. In fact Homer immeasurably enhanced Gwen's life.This memoir is Gwen's story as much as Homer's. Inspired by Homer's joie de vivre and indomitable spirit, Gwen - broke and needing a better paying job - moved back in with her parents (not easy). She took a series of intern and volunteer positions and finally came out on the other side with highly marketable skills - and the means to get her own place again. Over time Gwen and the cats moved four times, which is daunting for a human, never mind a blind cat. But Homer always adapted quickly, making his way from his food and litter box (the first things Gwen 'showed him') to investigate every millimeter of his new dwelling. Homer met Gwen's friends and a few guys she dated (one who hissed at /frightened Homer was thrown out immediately) and almost everyone loved the little black cat. In one amusing anecdote, Gwen's ex-boyfriend George was babysitting Homer for a few days when Gwen popped by for a visit. To Gwen's horror George's friend - with baby Homer lying on the palm of his outstretched hand - was spinning around, making helicopter noises, and affectionately calling Homer 'El Mocho' (something like stumpy). When Gwen made a fuss, Homer was put down. But the kitten immediately ran over to his playmate and pawed him....'more more more'. In time Gwen moved to New York for work and got an apartment near the World Trade Center. When the twin towers came down on 9/11, Homer and his sister cats were stranded in their apartment when the district was blocked off for safety. Gwen's tale of trying to get back to her cats with food and water - which took days - was as harrowing a story as I've read in some thrillers. After some years Gwen met her future husband Laurence (not a spoiler). Laurence's big booming voice intimidated Homer, who avoided this barrel-chested intruder. Nevertheless, Homer's super-hearing alerted him when Laurence opened the refrigerator to make a turkey sandwich - and the cat immediately rushed over to get (more than his share) of the meat. Laurence had to resort to loudly running the faucet so he could sneak out the sandwich fixings, then hide in the bathroom to make his snack (ha ha ha). The book doesn't focus solely on Homer and there are plenty of fun stories about the other cats. Scarlett for instance divided the world into mom (Gwen) - who she loved; and everyone/everything else - who she had little use for. And Vashti, a beautiful shy cat, seduced dog-lover Laurence with her adoring gazes and affectionate behavior. I always like books with endearing pets (in real life or in fiction) and this is a very good one. Highly recommended for animal lovers.You can follow my reviews at https://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot....

  • Kelly V
    2019-03-03 05:28

    I really likes this book a lot. People who know me are totally aware of my near-obsession with cats, and that I am very involved in cat rescue, and that am fostering lots of cats at any given moment. I can't get enough of Lolcats and can lose hours at cuteoverload.com and icanhascheezburger.com. But when it comes to reading longer stories about animals and animal rescue, I usually can't handle the overabundance of sappiness (and sometimes self-righteousness) that is ever-present. So I am happy to report that this book isn't sappy at all. And in fact, it's awesome. I saw it on a table at Barnes & Noble, bought it, and had it finished less than 24 hours later. I just couldn't put it down. The book focuses on the author's cat Homer, who she adopted as a blind 6-week-old kitten. The important thing to note is that he had a severe eye infection before he ever even opened his eyes, so he had never actually seen at all. This never-having-seen-at-all comes up later and is the source of some pretty funny stories. The author was naturally worried about him from the beginning, but Homer made it clear pretty quick that he was not at any sort of disadvantage. The most notable thing about him is that his eyes had been removed, pretty much to save his life, and his eyelids were sewn shut--so he looked a little funny to people who first met him. The book is a true memoir, in that Cooper tells us all the major things going on in her life. This is kind of interesting, as Homer (and her other two cats) are a major part of her life, and influence so many things. But I can say that I was far less interested in her dating life and perfect marriage and stuff that dominated the end of the book. Here's my favorite story from the book: Homer has no concept of sight, right? But in every other way, he's a totally normal cat. So he would set out to stalk one of the other cats in the house, and he would do a bang-up job of it, moving stealthily and making no noise, etc. But there was one problem--he'd do it right in front of the other cats, who would be looking right at him as he gradually inched towards them. Every time, he'd end up with a swat on the head, and a look on his face of, "How did she catch me THAT TIME?! I didn't make any noise!" I just think this is adorable. So if you wonder if this had any real impact on my life, let me just tell you that right after I finished, I decided I needed to adopt a blind cat myself. (Lest you think this is a crazy spontaneous thing, I lost my two oldest cats over the past 14 months, and I've been pondering adopting a special needs cat for a while). I found a little guy named Spider on petfinder.com and went through the rescue's application process, and I'll be picking up Spider this coming weekend. Yay!UPDATE ON SPIDERI just thought I'd give an update on my little Spider-man for anyone who wonders how that "whim" turned out--he's doing great. He's such a happy boy, and he loves to be close to me, though he is getting more and more confident navigating my untidy house. He spent several weeks living in my bedroom where for the most part he was alone, but now that the other cats have gotten used to him, he seeks them out occasionally. He sometimes walks into things, but he's smart enough to never walk to fast, and he often senses objects before he actually hits them. He's not nearly as confident or enthusiastic as Homer, but he's my adorable and clumsy kitty and I adore him.

  • Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin
    2019-02-25 06:10

    OMG! I am in love with Homer! This cat Gwen rescued from her vet is the most touching stories I have read in a while. He was brought in by some people at around 3 weeks with messed up eyes. They said they found him and wanted him euthanized. Well the vet wasn't having any of that, she removed his eyes and when no one wanted him, her last resort was to ask Gwen who already had two cats and couldn't afford another one at the time. She couldn't help herself and took him! The stories about Homer learning the lay of his land in the house is amazing! He just had a strong will to live and discover things. You just have to read the book to get the full effect! I have to say my favorite part of the book is with the burglar. I laughed so hard I thought I was going to crack a rib! Who ever heard of a blind attack cat! Well that burglar was stunned to say the least. I can not believe how funny that scene was, I would like to write it out here but I will save it so you can buy the book :) I am going to add a SPOILER!!!!!! IT'S A PART FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE BOOK!!!**SPOILER***TAKEN FROM THE BOOK*When I walked in with my date, Homer ran to greet me at the door. And there, hanging from his mouth, was a tampon. The whiteness of it stood out against his black fur in vivid, mortifying relief. He scampered around in gleeful triumph for a moment, then promptly ran over and sat expectantly on his haunches in front of me, tampon clutched in between his jaws like a dog with a rawhide bone. My date looked taken aback, to say the least, "What the....is that a.." He stammered for a moment, before finally managing, "Did something happen to your cat?"I hunkered down on my heels, and Homer happily climbed into my lap, dropping the purloined tampon at my feet. "He's fine," I answered. "He doesn't have any eyes, is all."*END*I thought that summed up Homer to a capital T! I recommend this book to one and all, it's a very inspirational story about a cat that beat the odds! www.melissa413readsalot.blogspot.com

  • Emily S.
    2019-03-16 09:30

    **ETA: reread in 2016 for a challenge. Still love it.**I don't even know where to begin with this one. This is a book that I won through Goodreads' First Reads program, and might be one of the best books I've ever come across. No, scratch that. It IS one of the best books I've ever come across. I laughed, I cried, I gripped the couch cushions in terror, I raged at the unfairness of people. In short, I ran the gamut of every emotion known to man while reading this book.Homer is adopted as a blind kitten and quickly makes his new mom realize that she can't define him by his disability. You know there's a parallel right there, don't you? One of the quotations that hit me the hardest was when she said, "No one can tell you what your potential is." For Homer, his potential is endless. He doesn't know what it's like to see, so he can't assume that he's different. He attacks life with gusto, attempting the 6-foot leap from scratching post to closet shelf multiple times before he makes it. Nothing deters this little guy, and he's sure not going to let the blackness stop him. Homer is the kind of cat who makes cat-lovers out of cat-haters. There's so much affection and love poured into his tiny body that the only way he can exist, it seems, is by sharing it with everyone and anyone. The one exception is the burglar who breaks into their apartment. Imagine a blind cat launching himself at a very large man like a mad banshee, and chasing said large man out and down the hall. Homer is bravery personified. (well, personified if he was a person. Maybe catified?)The thing is, there are life lessons to be learned in this book. As the 'parent' of a disabled cat myself, I can see myself in Ms. Cooper. I never want anything to hurt my Pippin, yet I can't let myself hold her back. She was hit by a car several months ago, and hasn't ever recovered full mobility in her legs. She limps dreadfully, and people often look at us askance when they see her walking. I've even had people stop me and ask me if I know that my cat is injured. One kind little man offered to build us a scooter. So I understand some of what Ms. Cooper experiences with Homer and people's natural curiosity. I also understand what it means to let the disabled pet live their full potential without interference from Mom. It sometimes kills me to allow Pippin to go her merry way, but I know it would kill her to be confined. She's so naturally curious, and she's found all sorts of ways to accommodate her disability. I tell you what, when she runs, you can't tell there's anything wrong with her!Homer is the same way, and I think that the similarities between him and my Pip made me get a lot more out of this than I might have otherwise. It makes me realize that I need to give people the same benefit of the doubt and allow them to live up to their potential. It makes me realize that unconditional love is the only way to go. It makes me realize that loving and being loved in return is a beautiful thing. It makes me so grateful for my beautiful Pippin and how much she loves her mommy. All in all, I think the biggest lesson that I'm taking away from this is that everyone, no matter who they are, has something wonderful to offer.Please, read this book. Read this book and accept the challenge to be a little better.

  • Amy
    2019-02-21 12:31

    While it is clear that Homer the cat has a spunky and fun personality, the the book dose not. Cooper's pace at times seemed like she was given a writing assignment and she was working hard to meet the required word count. She is very clever at putting words into the actions and meows of her cats. Instead she writes almost entirely about herself finally becoming a grown up while she was taking care of three cats. As grown-ups we know that choosing an apartment requires an assessment of the family needs, we don't need the entire dry thought process detailed when she has already covered many of the precautions she takes for a blind cat. Her end conclusion that Homer had taught her how to ultimately choose the right mate for herself seemed forced. Through out the book Homer quickly reaches out aware of the risk, but trusting his own instincts to meet new friends, explore new homes, and test new toys. Cooper took three years (and what sounds like some excuses) before she could trust herself to take a risk and recognize that the man she claimed was only a friend was someone she loved. It didn't seem very Homer like to me.

  • Anne
    2019-03-11 05:17

    I enjoyed this book, for the most part. It's written well, stylistically, and Homer is a fascinating little guy. I loved reading all about his life. The addition of other facets of the author's life was less interesting, but I can see why it was necessary to do so.The philosophical ramblings of the author are what lost this book a star and a half for me. It went on and on and on about the nature of love and bravery and the universe, and I got bored. Very bored. But still. Cat. Cute, brave, adventurous cat. Can't be less than 3 stars for that. TL;DR: Definitely worth the read, but maybe a few less soliloquys would've been better. *********************************3.5 stars. Full review to come.

  • Beth
    2019-02-27 09:10

    Yes Yes Yes!!!!! This is one cute fuzz ball of a book. Following in the tradition of Dewey, Wesley the Owl, and the Alex Chronicles this is a book any animal lover can sink their claws and teeth in and wag their tail about. Homer is one cute kitty who loses his sight due to an infection in the first two weeks of life. For those of us who are squeamish for the poor kitty who loses his sight, don't worry as for the first 10 to 14 days kitties don't open their eyes. So Homer doesn't know what he is missing. This is a delightful book one not to miss. Hopefully my library gets a copy so others can read this good book.Would I buy this book? Not at full price because I NEVER buy anything at full price. Would I pass this along? Yes definately. I liked it better than Dewey because I could relate to the author more and i have two beautiful black cats. I have been a cat lover all my life.

  • April
    2019-03-11 07:17

    Homer's Odyssey was a book I discovered merely on a 'whim' while searching for other feline tales to sniff at and swoon over. Humbly told, it is an outstanding yet sweet and inspiring account of a very brave little kitten to a very brave little cat living his life in exploration of the world around him. What I found most moving was the fact that his disability had the opposite effect to the way he lives his life; he pursues it with endless wonder plainly for the fact that he desires to both see and touch the things he cannot, and strives to discover every nook and cranny he can. Cooper narrates wonderfully, ensuring nothing becomes too boring even for the lesser cat lovers out there who'll be impervious to Homer's adorable antics. A marvellous feline and a heartfelt story everyone should read.

  • Kristina
    2019-03-13 08:02

    I am not a cat lover. In fact, the only reason I committed to reading it is because, upon hearing of one of my book challenges that says I have to read a book with a cat on the cover, my friend handed this to me and said I just had to read this one. I still don't love cats. However, I saw this book through. The life lessons from an animal are definitely relatable. It's how I feel about my dog. So, I'll admit, I pretended that Homer was my dog-that helped me get into the mindset of the author. I enjoyed that she also makes up what her cats are saying in response to her. I do the same with my dog. And The Odyssey connections are great. I do enjoy a good literary connection. Overall, it's a decent read. :)Woody Swear scale-super safe read. No swearing.

  • Cherie
    2019-02-25 09:04

    I feel like I must be the last person in America to read this cat's story. Everyone I mentioned the book to said, "Oh, yeah, the one about the blind cat." Even my granddaughter said, "I've seen him on You Tube. He's famous!"I bought this book on sale because I liked the cover. It was a good choice and I'm glad I finally got around to reading it.

  • Carol Collins
    2019-03-03 08:07

    Excellent, a tear jerker for sure. Makes you want to hug your own kitty and let them know you’ll take good care of them no matter what.

  • Christina/ The Blog for Teachers, Readers, & Life!
    2019-03-12 10:30

    Heartwarming true story of Gwen Cooper and her amazing blind cat Homer!

  • Anna
    2019-03-10 09:19

    Truly an incredibly written book. It's a biography of Gwen Cooper's life with her cats, revolving mainly around her blind cat Homer who is just ADORABLE. I read this book with my mum and it's been so much fun sharing this story with her. We have both laughed and cried, but thankfully the tears were few and the laughter was plentiful!I would absolutely recommend this book.It's perfect for cat lovers, but easy to relate to even if you're not big on cats.

  • Särah Nour
    2019-03-21 06:27

    I admit it: I’m a bleeding heart for animals, and Homer’s Odyssey made me laugh, cry and hug my cat. The premise may seem cliché—handicapped pet wins the hearts of everyone he meets—but Gwen Cooper is a compelling and eloquent narrator, and she writes of her beloved blind cat with dry wit and humor as well as affection. Her voice resonates off the page in a jovial and conversational tone, and reading this book feels like having a nice chat with Cooper across the table over coffee.Cooper was already the owner of two cats when she received a call from her veterinarian about a four-week-old stray kitten who’d had his eyes surgically removed due to an infection. The kitten was up for adoption and proving difficult to place. Cooper, who was living paycheck to paycheck at the time, had no intention of adding to her brood. However, seeing a trooper in the tiny kitten, she adopted him and aptly named him Homer, after the blind storyteller of The Odyssey. Unlike humans, handicapped animals seem to lack the capacity for self-pity, and Homer’s adventurous spirit is not dampened by his blindness. Raising Homer is full of trials and tribulations, extra attention and vigilant discipline. He’s irrepressibly rambunctious and insatiably curious, and Cooper relates many hilarious stories of Homer’s antics that should sound familiar to any cat owner, or even anyone who has had small children. He fearlessly scales seven-foot bookcases, pushes items off the coffee table in the living room, and once, when Cooper brings a date home, he eagerly rushes to greet her with a tampon in his mouth.Equally funny are Homer’s interactions with Cooper’s two other cats, Scarlett and Vashti. Homer quickly settles into the role of the feisty little brother who likes roughhousing with his sisters and annoying them to no end. Scarlett, a snobbish prima donna of a cat, regards him as a nuisance, while the dainty Vashti is appalled at his horseplay. They do, however, become a functional family, while managing some level of tolerance for each other.Homer also reveals his heroic side when he protects Cooper from an intruder who breaks into her Miami apartment one night. Later in the book, Cooper moves to New York City, into an apartment near the World Trade Center, and Homer instinctively guards his territory when he hears the explosions of 9/11, placing himself in front of Cooper and hissing at any danger that might befall her. Indeed, Homer is a brave cat—as brave and loyal as your Lassie or your Rin Tin Tin—and for all the care Cooper gives him, he gives back twice as much.Homer’s Odyssey is a guaranteed hit with animal lovers. Whether you’re a dog person or a cat person, Homer will likely bat at your heartstrings. If you’re looking for a feel-good read, look no further.Read this and other reviews at my blog: http://zeitgeist-sacha1689.blogspot.com/

  • Alissa
    2019-03-09 04:11

    "Exrtraordinary Dog" stories are a dime a dozen, so much to the point they've practically become cliche, typical, and, dare I say it, ordinary! (does anyone really care anymore that Lassie rescued Timmy from the old well--AGAIN?!?)But an Extraordinary Cat story? ...Now THAT is something you don't hear too much of! Perhaps it's because of our culture's somewhat deluded love affair with the "dog is man's best friend" concept. Perhaps it's because, in recent times, cats have been given something of a bad rap, having been promoted as being everything from aloof, selfish creatures to omens of gloom and doom. But seriously... Were cats not once practically worshiped as Gods in ancient Egypt? Are cats not, among some Eastern cultures, considered to bring luck to their owners? As a longtime cat owner, I am inclined to agree more with these views. True, cats can be lazy and independent to a fault, but they are wonderful friends and companions who are capible of unconditional love...not to mention the endless hours of fun and entertainment. Here we have the story of one such extraordilary cat who is, perhaps, even more extraordinary than most. Here we have Homer, a small black cat who, due to an illness, has been blind pretty much from birth. Although he was adopted out of pity, Homer went on to prove a cat doesn't need sight to live a full life. Homer outwits insects (both crawling and flying), defends his territory against a would-be burgler, navigates (at full-tilt) his way around every environment he is put into, and befriends almost everyone he meets--including dogs. But this is not just the story of a cat. It is also the story of how he transformed the author's life and how her life would not be nearly as full and complete without this adorable little ball of fur.I laughed, I cried, and I totally related. Left me feeling warm and fuzzy all over--and not just because I had a purring cat on my lap.

  • Nicole (( lost in the book's world ))
    2019-03-23 08:32

    I am so glad I have this book because I am in love with this book. AND...I AM CAT LOVER! :) Oh Homer, I really want to meet him!My favorite part:The first time I discovered his latest achievement was by accident. I awoke early one morning and stumbled into the bathroom. Flipping on the light, I found that it was...already occupied, Homer balancing on the edge of the toilet seat."Oh, I'm sorry," I said automatically, still half asleep. It was only after I'd left, considerately closing the door behind me, that I thought, Wait a minute..."Our cat's a genius!" I gushed to Laurence later that day."He buried on minuscule paw in the bowl of dry food and immediately began to fling it into the water bowl. The sound it made as it hit water the water was nearly identical to the sound my fingers had made splashing around in the bowl, and Homer turned a proud, expectant face in my direction."SO CUTE!Homer jumped off the bed without any help...he's blind and he can do by himself...VACUUM PART, all kitten/cat hate vacumm! But Homer? He was like "YAY! A new sound! What is that new sound? Can I play with or climb onto it?"

  • Judy
    2019-03-17 12:08

    This book chronicles the life of Homer, the blind cat, with Gwen Cooper a young lady who is in the midst of finding solutions to life's problems. Gwen proceeds to learn many lessons and receive encouragement from watching Homer embrace life even though blind.What I loved*This book is about the cat not an excuse for the human to emote about her trials and disappointments in her life. (Unlike a certain other best-selling library cat book of a few years back.)*Cooper understands the boundaries of revealing too much about her personal story. This book has plenty of human story buts its in balance, and the focus never comes off Homer as the main character. *Good writing, clean-cut style, no rambling, reads like a novel.*This account contains a love story (both the furry-friend kind and human), compassion, disappointment, trauma, fear, victories, courage or otherwise anything that makes a good story.This book has no glaring faults. It is on my favorites shelf. I recommend it to anyone who loves pet memoirs, cats or Gwen Cooper's writing.

  • John
    2019-03-14 06:10

    I gave this one a fourth star because: a) I'm not really a cat person, and b) I feared the book might be too chick-lit-y ... and I ended up really liking it - I've read reviews complaining that it's too much of a Gwen memoir, and not Homer-centered enough, but ... hey ... it's about his effect on her life! Gwen keeps the book moving along well, so that I never really found it got bogged down. I'm glad I listened to the audio version, though the narrator's voice disconcertingly reminded me of Sue Grafton's Kinsey Milhone; her (little boy) "Homer" voice took some getting used to, but by the end I realized it was a good fit for his personality. I bailed early on during the final 30 minute "discussion" between Gwen and her husband, feeling their experiences had been covered well enough in the book.

  • Michelle Weagle
    2019-02-21 07:23

    If you are a cat lover, you must read this. That's all I can say. I love Homer as much as I love my own feline family (and that's a lot.) A great read.

  • JulieDurnell
    2019-02-28 07:27

    A real treat for cat-lovers. Homer and Gwen's story is touching, rewarding, and the life lessons learned invaluable.

  • Kirsty
    2019-03-21 11:32

    I can’t resist a good cat story, and this one is particularly adorable. I loved Homer from the first page, particularly for the way in which he rallied against his disability and learnt to do things that cats able to see take for granted. Cooper’s writing is so nice. I don’t like using the word ‘nice’ at all and try to avoid it in my reviews, but it is wonderfully applicable here. Her prose is so gentle and patient, and she really gave an insight into adopting a pet with a disability.

  • Victoria Ting
    2019-03-15 08:02

    The fact that I have always had a loving compassion for cats brought me to the decision to read this book. It was on the list of ‘suggested books’ on Goodreads and the idea of a cat book interested me. Though I could say that “I love to read books” and “cats are my favourite animal”, I, strangely, have not yet read a cat novel. From the range of animal novels I have read, they are all about dogs. Throughout the different dog novels I have read, the authors always write about the dog’s human-like connection between its owner, or how they learn to do this and that and become a ‘man’s best friend’. Because cats are apparently not as ‘smart’ as dogs, I thought it would be interesting to find out how one can interpret a cat’s feelings. This book completes the ‘autobiography’ category. I think this is a great category because it gives the reader an opportunity to find out about the author while at the same time enjoying a novel. Also, the author can have a chance to tell their readers about what kind of person they are and write about their own life story.A quote I found particularly interesting was “My philosophy when it came to pets was much like that of having children: You got what you got, and you loved them unconditionally regardless of whatever their personalities or flaws turned out to be.”This quote is interesting to me because Gwen Cooper tells us that loving a pet is like loving your own child. No matter what they looked like or what their personality was like, you would love them no matter what. In my opinion, this quote really moves me because of how deeply a parent could think of their pets as one of their own children. This truly shows how some people can love and care for an animal so dearly. I think that everyone should think like this: show more love for any living being, regardless of their appearance or flaws.From this novel, I have learnt that it is not only dogs that can have a ‘connection’ between a human. Throughout the novel, Cooper describes how her cats mean everything to her, and she means everything to them. They look up to her as their mother: the person who feeds them, spends time with them and takes care of them. It is clearly shown that Gwen Cooper, the protagonist, does everything she can to take care of her cats as if they were her own children. My opinion towards cats has definitely changed. Because I have never owned a cat, I would not understand this kind of strong bond between an owner and their cat. Most cat stereotypes think that cats ‘don’t do anything’ or ‘they sleep all day’. Cooper has shown me how attached a cat can really become to an owner. This novel has taught me what an impact a cat can really have in your life.Homer was a character that interested me in this novel. Homer was an orphaned four-week-old kitten that had been abandoned at a vet. After a serious eye infection, both his eyes were to be removed. Nobody wanted him and Gwen was the kitten’s last chance. Gwen did not intend on getting a third cat, but after spending time with the kitten, she soon found herself attached. Regardless of his loss of eyes, Homer, the kitten, was a very energetic cat everyone came to love. Homer was very friendly towards others and loved his owner more than anything. Because he was blind, he was expected to be a sad kitten that people would feel sorry for. Instead, Homer climbed, ran, leaped and did everything a normal cat would, without relying on sight. Not knowing what lay in this big world, he always took the chance. Homer has taught me that sometimes, to get the good things in life, you had to make a blind leap; to get out of your comfort-zone. I think that we should all try to be a little more extravagant. When you fail, keep trying. Cats aren't all boring. They truly can change a person’s life.