Gwen Cooper’s ‘Kittenish’, features #selfies of cats around the world, all for a good cause
Even though Homer the Blind Cat has crossed over the Rainbow Bridge, his work to help other felines in needs continues.
Gwen Cooper & Homer’s Heroes recently published ‘Kittenish’, a collection of selfies of some absolutely stunning cats around the world – and it’s all for a good cause. All – that’s 100 percent – of the proceeds from ‘Kittenish’ are going to Humane Society International to fund their ongoing animal-rescue efforts in Nepal.
In a little over a week, Homer’s Heroes raised an astounding $20,000 for the animals.
Nepal’s earthquake may seem like old news now. A few months have passed since an enormous 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal, killing over 4,000 people. Anyone who has worked with disaster recovery knows the story fades from the headlines, but the pain and suffering continues for months if not years. The story remain real and the people and animals affected by the earthquake continue to need financial support.
Dr. Jessica Vogelsang shared a post on petMD on the World Vets Response, what she is doing personally to help, and let other pet lovers across the globe know how they can help. ‘With a struggling government and minimal infrastructure in place, the initial response has been practically nonexistent; people digging through rubble with their hands to try to free their family members, thousands of injured people turned away by hospitals struggling to save the most badly injured.’
A parody on Kim Kardashian’s selfies book, ‘Selfish”
Gwen Cooper took note, and not only stepped up to the plate to help, but also turned to pop culture and crowd-sourcing to make it work. This book of rescue-cat selfies (that’s the pop culture part) parodies Kim Kardashian’s selfies book, ‘Selfish’. Cooper points out, ‘Cats are probably the only ones having as big a pop-cultural moment as the Kardashians, so the comparison seemed apt. And she thought, why not adopt the selfie into a book of rescued cats?
For those who don’t know, Cooper is the bestselling author of Homer’s Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale, and ‘Homer’s Heroes’ are Homer the Blind Wonder Cat’s community of rescuers and ‘furiends’.
Homer, the Blind Cat is a true story of a blind cat that taught Cooper a lot of lessons about life and love. His story and legacy lives on. And now ‘Kittenish’ will bring hours of joy to animal lovers, as well as life-saving aid to animals in need.
In the book’s promotional material, Cooper points out, ‘these hundreds of photos of cats, by cats, capturing themselves at their most playful, affectionate, and haphazard moments result in an unforgettable collection that’s hilarious and heart-tugging. There’s even a black-page section for the ‘sexy selfies.’ (Warning: Very few cats consented to wear costumes for ‘Kittenish,’ so most of these selfies are nudes.)’
‘Kittenish’ started in late May, 2015, and came together in a flash
In the book’s foreword, Cooper writes, ‘I didn’t know what to expect when I first put out the call for cat selfies to ‘Homer’s Heroes’ (the community that’s grown around Homer, subject of my memoir ‘Homer’s Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale, or How I Learned About Love and Life with a Blind Wonder Cat’). But the response was overwhelming. In five days I received more than 8,000 photos from several dozen countries, and every continent on the globe except Antarctica. In winnowing that 8,000 down to the 403 selfies we ended up including, I wasn’t necessarily looking for the “best” photos. I asked myself what pictures of cats would look like if the cats themselves were the ones taking those pictures. The results were usually funny, frequently haphazard—and always adorable.’
Paws, otherwise known as Little Yellow, is one of those 403 selfies. His human had never taken a selfie before, so this was all new to us. But we worked to get the best post possible, and he looks his regal self on page 63.
Cooper explains, ‘ Kittenish was intended to give those of us watching in horror as the effects of Nepal’s earthquakes unfolded the opportunity to do something meaningful, yet also realistic given our limitations as individual animal lovers. Large-scale human tragedies are almost always animal tragedies as well—and vice versa. Many of the animals displaced and/or injured during the earthquakes are working animals, animals who contribute to the livelihoods of people whose lives were already difficult—and, of course, beloved companion animals. It should come as no surprise that there were many people who refused to evacuate dangerous areas—at peril to their own lives—simply because they wouldn’t leave their animal friends behind.’
‘I’m often asked what the value is in helping animals at all when there are so many humans in need. My answer is always the same: When you help animals, you help people, too.’
‘When Homer’s Odyssey was first published back in 2009, famous cats weren’t a thing. So seeing the enormous collective of passionate rescuers who’ve rallied to Homer and his causes over the years has been bewildering, exhilarating, and incredibly humbling. Homer never knew that he was beloved by millions of people all over the world. But those of us who loved Homer know, and it means the world to us.’
‘Kittenish’ is still available. Get your own copy of “Kittenish” today at www.hihomer.com.
Paws applauds Gwen Cooper and Homer’s Heroes for dedicating the proceeds of this book to help the animals affected by the Nepal earthquake. We applaud Homer’s Heroes for carrying on Homer the Blind Cat’s legacy, and helping pet rescue, because the fact is, for all of the pet bloggers and pet writers, it really is all about helping the animals, whether it be cats, dogs, horses, goats, or cows. Please weigh in on this discussion, and share your thoughts.