Homer, The Ninth Life of a Blind Wonder Cat lives on, perhaps forever. This amazing cat became famous through his human Gwen Cooper’s bestselling book ‘Homer’s Odyssey’, bringing much-needed attention to how special a blind cat can be.
After his death, he became infamous, and Cooper tells just how much so in her 115-page sequel, ‘Homer, The Ninth Life of a Blind Wonder Cat’ available at Amazon.com.
It’s a fascinating perspective about book publishing promotion, pet loss and the power of social media. Had Paws for Reflection read the sequel, perhaps we would not be blogging, as the countless photo shoots, interviews, and attention Homer received would have been unfathomable. We frequently point to reading Homer’s story as a catalyst for taking writing about cats to a whole new level.
We can just picture the humor, the fear, the loss, and the rebuilding that are painted through words in his sequel.
The story takes on a humorous twist, becomes humorous as Homer, initially thrilled by all the attention, becomes so bored with photo shoots that Cooper’s husband Laurence has to run cross town in Manhattan to find his most special food to bribe him to cooperate. He’s become so used to the attention that it has become a Big Bore, and he chooses to take a nap rather than pose for one more photo shoot.
We can only imagine Homer aging and losing his best feline friends, Vashti and Scarlett, who had been a part of his life since Cooper took him home when he was only a few weeks old. Homer, also hated going to the veterinarian. In a tear- jerking saga, Homer becomes very ill, so much so that he can barely move. When the emergency vet tells her to stay in the waiting room as they examine him, she tells of a blood curdling scream coming from out back. It’s Homer. Being blind, he had no way of knowing what was happening. He was terrified. His human never leaves him alone with a vet again. Sadly, Homer is diagnosed with terminal liver disease, and we travel down Cooper’s year-long end of life journey with her very special feline.
As most of us who have gravely sick cats wonder, when is it time to say good-bye, and help them cross over to the other side. Paws has wondered that very same thing. Jackson Galaxy of Animal Planet’s Cat from Hell, and author of ‘Cat Daddy’ advised her, he will let you know when the time has come. He did. For those of us that love cats, we go through pre-death, and after death mourning, just as we for our humans. Our cats become every bit as important, if not even more important, than our friends and family. When they are gone we have a gaping hole in our hearts that only time can fill.
It’s not only his human that is hurting. Litter-mates Fanny and Clayton, a 3-legged tri-pod had joined the family and Clayton had become especially fond of Homer, developing a special bond with Homer, one his humans had not fully appreciated until Clayton became very ill following Homer’s death. Cats, just like people, mourn the loss of their feline family. Paws wrote about How my cat Victory grieved and mourn her human for Catster.
As Cooper is beside herself in the depths of morning her beloved feline and subject of her bestselling novel, Clayton is silently deeply mourning the loss of his friend. Finding each other’s pain helps them both heal.
Homer’s death is a gigantic spike for his social media. His Facebook page catapulted from 13,000 to 27,000 fans, reaching more than a million people within 5 days of his death, August of 2013. Today, his posts reach over a million people per day. Cooper tells how people had heard of Home through his death, through their friends, and shared his story with their friends, and their friends shared with their friends. The exponential growth was explosive. Some 2 years after he died, it’s still explosive and his story lives on, helping other cats through Homer’s Heroes.
This sequel is an amazing story, and fills in some of the curiosity gaps of ‘Homer’s Odyssey’. I had no idea Homer had been so ill. We had no idea of his tremendous press. And we had no idea of the power his story has made on social media. There’s no doubt his story will live on for years to come, helping many other felines along the way. We thank Gwen Cooper for sharing what must have been a very difficult story to tell.
Are you a Homer fan? Do you have any special needs cats? What do you think about his story living on, helping cats around the world? Please weigh in and share your thoughts.