I’m guessing only a few of my readers know about the very inspirational blind black cat named Homer who graces the cover of my favorite book called Homer’s Odyssey. If you don’t know about Homer, I can tell you a few things without ruining the book for you. I can tell you that a very caring human named Gwen Cooper adopted him sixteen years ago, when no one else would because of his blindness….not to mention that he was black.
I have experienced a little of this black cat ignorance myself. When we honored our daughter’s wish to rescue a black cat because she told us “that so many people walk right past the black ones” we never looked back. However several people actually told us to brace ourselves for bad luck! I can tell you that our sweet and funny little black cat that our girl named Lucy has brought us nothing but good luck. Now back to Homer….
The author of the book takes us from the day she carefully decided to take in a 3rd cat (we have three, so I know how she worried about this decision) and covers the many adventures she experienced both mothering a blind cat while also progressing through her own exciting life events. Without telling you too much, I can tell you that Homer’s abilities to thrive and see life beyond two working eyes are a thrill to read about. He even becomes a hero in her book when he literally chases out an intruder who broke into Gwen’s apartment and stood at her bedside in the middle of the night! You have got to read the book to believe it.
Homer accompanies the author through career changes, a big move to New York City that had them living there through 9/11 and more. The book will remind you that anything is possible and that giving life to an animal, when you are able to, has so many rewards. In Homer’s case, the rewards are plentiful and heartwarming to read about.
So when I heard from a friend this week that the beloved Homer passed away recently, I actually cried. Even though I never met this energetic fun cat, that the book explains, won over just about everyone, I felt a loss for his beloved human, Gwen. Her book had me flipping pages anxiously to see what mischief or heroics her Homer had tackled next. It is such a good read and I see how it became an international bestselling book.
When I went to Gwen’s Facebook page (actually Homer’s Facebook page) to read Homer tributes, I broke down in tears at the overwhelming posts (many before Homer’s passing) of handicapped cats that had been adopted and were thriving because humane humans had read Homer’s Odyssey and were inspired to save other blind cats….and really cats with all kinds of health problems that would have otherwise been put down.
Showing compassion to a guy named Homer makes Gwen Cooper one of my favorite role models. Reading about how Homer thrived and lived a full life makes me celebrate his life and Gwen’s selfless act. I know that he left her with a full heart and I know that this same heart is broken now as she mourns the loss of her faithful companion whose blindness actually opened the eyes of so many. Losing a pet is so painful and as Gwen describes her grief in her blog, it seems even more so due to the unique bond that formed between a blind super cat and his faithful human. They truly had a special chemistry that went beyond the typical human-feline relationship.
Thank you Gwen Cooper for saving Homer and for sharing his special story with so many of us through your magical book. Homer made a difference saving countless cats around the world and Gwen reminds us all to show compassion and to look beyond a handicap, feline and otherwise.