Homer’s OdysseyBy Gwen Cooper
The cats written about by human authors fall into two general categories: the ordinary cat made special by the craft of the author (i.e., My Cat Spit McGee and The Cat Who Came for Christmas), or the cat who is truly something special (i.e., The Cat Who Went to Paris). Not only does Homer, the blind cat of Homer’s Odyssey fall into the latter category, he is perhaps the most unique cat whose story has ever been told. While it’s true that a blind cat uses its other senses to compensate for its lack of vision (all sightless creatures do this, even blind humans), Homer takes his abilities to an almost otherworldly level. Yes, I’ve caught a small fruit fly by jumping and snapping it in my jaws (and it was yummy, thank-you-very-much!), but blind Homer, a cat even smaller than I am, can jump five feet in the air to catch a fly! I can smell an open can of salmon from the dining room; Homer can smell an unopened can of tuna that’s sitting in the cupboard… and pull it out onto the kitchen counter. I growl at smoke alarms that beep when they need a new battery. Homer (normally just about the friendliest cat ever born) growls at a prowler he can’t even see — and attacks him!
Author Gwen Cooper had no idea what she was getting into when she adopted Homer. She just knew that she was taking in a blind, black kitten that was almost guaranteed to create havoc in her single, twenty-something lifestyle. After all, she already had two cats — one more was bound to make her the crazy cat lady amongst her peers. And Homer did turn her life upside down — because he showed her that even while sacrificing some things, life contained far more possibilities than she ever imagined. Homer took Cooper on an odyssey that went from Florida to New York City, from a dead-end career to a new life, and ultimately opened her eyes to relationships in a way that brought her the love of her life. Along the way, Homer has also enhanced the lives of almost everyone Cooper befriends. Not only is Homer an amazing cat, this is a wonderful cat-human memoir.