Two very special kitties left us recently: one world-famous and another mainly well known to social media-savvy kitties. Homer, the star of the best-selling book Homer’s Odyssey, had been in ill health for many months and it was finally time for his human, author Gwen Cooper, to say good-bye to him. Jami’s death was sudden and unexpected. You might remember my blog post about him last October, when he was rescued and transported to his new home. He snuck out the door one evening about a week and a half ago and was killed by a car. While I was deeply saddened by these events, I’m not here to mourn these two wonderful cats. Rather, I want to honor their lives by celebrating their legacies instead.
Homer had two strikes against him: he was blind and a black cat. But it did not matter because his personality was so large it filled a book and changed the way people thought about cats with special needs. Homer passionately embraced life and was so loyal to Gwen that he even protected her fiercely when someone broke into their home. The thing about so-called “disabled” cats is that they have no idea there is anything the matter with them, so they don’t put limitations on themselves the same way humans might do. Homer helped the readers of Gwen’s book understand this, and as a result many of them went out and adopted special needs cats themselves. That legacy was never more clear than in the days after Gwen posted about Homer’s death on her blog and on Facebook. In addition to all the condolences, many people posted photos and told stories of the blind and special needs cats they had adopted after reading Homer’s Odyessy. That was beautiful to see.
Gwen’s latest book, Love Saves the Day, is coming out in paperback on October 22, and she will be donating 100% of her royalities from all presales and sales of the paperback through October 27 to a rescue (to be announced) through Homer’s Heroes Fund, which she is establishing in his memory. Buy Love Saves the Day by clicking my Amazon Associate link here, and I pledge to donate 100% of my commission for the book to the same rescue. (I just want to mention that it would make an awesome birthday or holiday gift!)Now Jami. I felt so awful when I heard the news about him, not only because he died, but because his human felt so guilty. The truth is there was nothing she could have done. Jami was an escape artist, and the humans in his household frequently had to go after him and bring him back in. And even if they had known right away that he had gotten out that night, it was dark and it would have been very difficult to find him. There is no blame, and I hope his human has begun to understand that.
But Jami did leave us with a very valuable gift: his rescue back in October energized the feline social media community. He had been dumped at a dog rescue in Greenville, SC, a place where he could not be kept. Word got out all over Twitter and the Cat Blogosphere about his plight and many of us worked hard to get him rescued. Finally Mizz Bassie’s human, all the way down in Hollywood, FL, offered to adopt him, and a transport was arranged. Many of us watched on Twitter and Facebook as each leg of the transport was completed. Everyone who drove Jami fell in love with him! Heck, we all were in love with him, even though we had never met him in person. And his transport was so inspiring that many humans (mine included) signed up to be transport volunteers. Jami’s life ended too soon, but in the short time he was with us, he made a difference. There will be kitties who will get to their new homes, all because of the story of Jami’s transport.
Homer and Jami — thanks for the memories, and thank you even more for the legacy you have left us, and for cats yet to be rescued.
Kjelle Bus aka Charlie Rascal says
What wonderful tributes to two very special kitties !
We have both Homers Odysseus and Love saves the day in our bookshelf 🙂
Oh, this is very sad news. I did not know these kitties, but I like that you wrote about them, Sparkle. I felt like I knew them then.
I’m sad that Jamie’s mom feels guilty. She shouldn’t. Sometimes, things happen and you may feel guilty, but you are not to blame–it just happened. I hope she can overcome the guilt and move on to remembering Jamie in a happy way.
Feline Yogi says
Beautiful tribute to these two amazing kitties Sparkle! I look forward to meeting Homer and Jami on the other side one day. Meow and Namaste! ~Pippy the Feline Yogini
Maxwell, Faraday & Allie says
we know how much Mizz Bassie’s family is grieving over Jami’s loss. We have been sending them many comforting hugs and purrs….
The Kitties of Purring Pines says
Such a sweet tribute!
Two amazing cats, thanks for sharing their stories!!
It’s good to celebrate the lives of two wonderful cats.
Spitty the Kitty says
What a wonderful post, Sparkle. It is important to know that beyond the sadness there is such a great legacy from both these kitties.
Thank you for commemorating Jamie. Mizz Bassie and her family hare heartbroken and adored Jami so much. I was stunned, and I know that Jamie adored as he was, will never be forgotten by any of us. Oh boy did that guy have a memorable journey. * chokes back tears * Homer? What can we say about the miracle that is Homer. The lives saved, the lives changed – the perceptions of blind cats are real cats who CAN and DO make their owners massively happy.
Thank you Sparkle.
Both of these cats touched so many lives, and I know they will continue to do so.
Layla Morgan Wilde (Cat Wisdom 101) says
You scared me when I saw your pic at the top! Lovely tribute for these cats. Some cats may be more famous than others but if they matter to even one person, they are special.
Oui Oui says
Both Homer and Jami were such an inspiration, it was hard when they left us, especially knowing the despair their loved ones were in. Our mom bought Love Saves the Day the first week it was out on Kindle. Its a great book!
Really special and beautiful tribute Sparkle for two very special kitties who will be missed by many.
Three Cat's Tails says
We are sorry to here about Homer and Jami. They sound like very sweet cats!
Dunkel, Smokey, and Vito
That is a lovely tribute to two special cats.
Cathy Keisha says
Wonderful tribute. I hope that when I say my farewells, that I can be remembered for something more than being stunning. I think I read Homer’s human was giving the proceeds to Blind Cat Rescue. I’m almost sure of it but you can check.
Team Tabby says
Thanks for sharing the stories of these two very special kitties.
Purr Therapy says
Wonderful post!! I know that every kitty is special and unforgettable to their family and furiends, but these two kitties had a greater purpose during their time here, and their legacy will live on forever.
Sue Brandes says
I do not know either kitty except for social media. Always sad to hear. Wonderful to celebrate these two kitties. Great post.
Savannah's Paw Tracks says
As always Sparkle, wonderfully written post…and memorial to two cats whose lives touched so many around the globe. I got very leaky eyes when I learned about Jami…so tragic…and his guardians were not at fault for his escape. Sweet Jami just wanted to see the world…it is sometimes hard to keep a precious kitty inside.
Sparkle, you have a gift for framing these sad stories to give us comfort and hope.
Yes, two very special cats, both missed by so many!
We’re very sad about these kitties going to the bridge but are also so happy about what they’ve taught us. Homer made us all realize that all kitties are worthy and deserving of love no matter what the circumstances and we remember the wonderful spirit of everybuddy coming together to find Jami a home. We are all better for knowing about these two kitties and we’re sending our thoughts and purrs to their families.
Caren Gittleman says
Sparkle this was an exquisite post, I had forgotten about Jamie….when I heard the news at BarkWorld it was beyond heartbreaking. And Homer? There are no words 🙁
Glogirly & Katie says
The whole world grieves for these amazing kitties.
Such a beautiful tribute, Sparkle.
Emma and Buster says
thank you for this post sparkle. we got to know two wonderful and special kitties.
rest in peace.
Madi and Mom says
Sparkle this is a beautiful post about two very special kitties who made a difference.
Mom actually met Ms. Gwen when she was in Raleigh to promote Homer’s book. She is an amazing person and shared lots of special things about Homer with the audience.
hugs madi your bfff
That was lovely Sparkle. While our Dad didn’t really know Homer, he did know, hold and love dear Jami. We still cry about Jami. Both kitties were full of so many lessons and we will always help their legacy live on. Rescue, Adopt, Love & Repeat. Thanks Homer and Jami for making our hearts smile for a while.
Austin Towers says
Every kitty is special, but Homer’s story has inspired on so many levels. I think his legacy is tremendous. I didn’t know Jami, but you are right Sparkle, his human should not blame herself at all! Lovely tributes! x
The Florida Furkids says
OMC we didn’t know about Jamie. We were part of his transport. 😥
The Florida Furkids
Nerissa's Life says
Far, far too many of our friends have been makin’ that trip over the bridge, as of late. Far too many. They will, however, FOREVER be in our hearts until we all meet again.
Famous SpokesGoat Pricilla says
Some kitties just will not stay inside – Harry the Farm cat is like that. No matter how hard the publicist tried he would NOT stay inside. He was meant to hunt mousies and eat their brains.
Homer and Jamie were put here for reasons and obviously for very big reasons. They left a lot of love in their wakes…
Gratitude is the perfect word, Homer inspires all of us ( our vrother is going blind in one eye and our sister has occular seizures) We always loved hearing about him, Sadly we hadn’t heard about Jami-but his human should not feel guilty at all-when a cat wants out he’ll find a way. All we can say is life without cats is unimaginable. Thanks forposting about the donations from the book-that is new news to us and wonderful.
What a pawsome tribute to Homer and Jami and the legacy they left behind. The world’s a better place for their having been in it and because their humans shared them with the world.
Cats of wildcat woods says
Homer will be missed but left a huge legacy behind. We did not know about Jami and are very sad. In all our dealings with rescues we have found that when it is time for that cat or dog to cross over, it is going to happen no matter what. No one is to blame – it was time for Jami to go. we are glad he got to live in a great home and be loved for the last of his life.
The Woman is ashamed to admit it but she can’t read Homer’s story. She just can’t. Cat stories upset her too much even if there is a happy ending–she just can’t get through the upsetting parts of the tales. She reads crappy horror and suspense but she can’t read a happy book about a cat?
Random Felines says
those are wonderful legacies indeed…..the more people realize kitties in need are everywhere – and that different is NOT broken – the better off we will all be! 🙂
Kitties Blue says
This was a heartfelt post and lovely celebration of the lives of two amazing cats. Mommy keeps hoping that all the mentions of Homer will inspire just the right human to come forward and adopt Rachel and Ray Charles. Thanks Sparkle for this inspiring post.Purrs and hugs, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo
We were one part of that caravan for Jami and I can tell you he was a true sweetheart. We were deeply sadden by his loss, but he knew love and oh boy was there ever so much love for him all over the world.
What a great post…..we are always saddened when a friend leaves us but there’s lots to celebrate too – we each leave our mark and a pawprint on the hearts of those we live with for however long we’re here. Homer and Jami are good examples of what their presence did to touch the lives of so many others. That’s something to be super proud of and hopefully their humans will feel the gratitude of all of us who appreciated that we learned something, felt something, changed something about how we live just by knowing them.
Pam and Sam
Hannah and Lucy says
It’s a sad time when cats we’ve known for quite a while pass over to a special place called Rainbow Bridge. For the sick and infirm there are mixed emotions of sadness as they will be missed so much and relief that they are well and fit once more and out of pain. For the unexpected and sudden passing of a beloved friend there is a state of bewilderment and loss which takes over your every thought and waking moment but at least they don’t suffer a slow and painful death and the knowledge that they would never be as they had been.
Luv Hannah and Lucy xx xx
Laila and Minchie says
What wonderful tributes to two very special kitties.
The Island Cats says
Homer was an inspiration to us all…both fur and human. He will be missed. We hadn’t heard the news about Jami (where have we been?) and we are very sad about this. We remember all the hard work that went into finding Jami a new home and then getting him there.
Both of these kitties will be deeply missed. Purrs to their families.
That Homer was one really special cat. His Book is one of the best I have read. And it was so sad about Jami. Some cats just have to be outside and so enjoy being out there so at least Jami had a loving home for a little while. Take care.
Its alway sad to say good by to friends,but these two Kitties had a fun filled life at their foreverhomes,xx Speedy