15. ‘Homer’s Odyssey’ by Gwen Cooper

The other night I was frantically looking at my shelves and trying to decide on my next book. My wife kindly suggested that I should read some of her books to review. Of course I immediately complained. “How can I do that? I have too many of my own books to read!” I’m sure my eyes were bulging and my head was spinning like a top. When I pulled away from my books and looked at my wife I could see that I hurt her feelings. I realized at that moment an essential truth that had been the proverbial thorn in an otherwise blissful marriage. While reading has always been an essential part of my life, it was always something that I did privately. Since my wife and I have different tastes in books, there has always been “my shelves” and “her shelves” My sweet and beautiful wife wants to connect with me on every level. Why should the subject of books be any different? One of the reasons I started this little blog was so I could share my love of books with others. Doesn’t it make sense that I share that specific love with the most important person of all?

That’s when I made a monumental decision. I rushed into the bedroom and selected a handful of my wife’s books. My plan is to read and review some of her favorites in between my own books. By doing this, I hope to bring us even closer together through having a discussion on books that have impacted her life. In addition, this will open my eyes to even more new authors. I chose Homer’s Odyssey first due to our shared love of all beings feline. This was a great tribute to a most extraordinary cat who teaches both the power of love and the importance of never accepting limitations.

While reading this book, my wife and I worked to bond with our newest cat Zephyr.

Due to an eye infection that would have ended his life, Homer’s eyes had to be surgically removed. Unwanted and alone, his veterinarian searched desperately for someone to adopt him. She found a taker in Gwen Cooper, a young Miami resident who already had two cats. It was love at first sight, and Homer found a mother who would care for him for the rest of his life. Little did Gwen know just how large an impact Homer would have on her own life.

“Nobody can tell you what your potential is.”

Despite being blind, Gwen quickly discovered that Homer was a cat destined for extraordinary things. Showing no fear, the little cat not only acclimated to his surroundings but loved exploring the world around him. Labeled a daredevil, Homer would climb large bookcases with ease and showed an extraordinary ability to catch flies with lightening fast reflexes. When a man broke into Gwen’s apartment late one night, Homer showed the intruder true bravery and managed to chase him away. His capacity for love knew no limits either. Homer relished every morning with its prospects of further possibilities. He loved every moment of his life, and his enthusiasm touched everyone he met.  This blind wonder cat could win anyone over, including Gwen’s future husband who was not originally a lover of the feline species. Several moments of Homer’s Odyssey will definitely warm the coldest of hearts. However, the book has a few tragic moments too.

Shortly after making the difficult decision to relocate to New York, one of the greatest tragedies that has faced mankind happened. On September 11, 2001, the twin towers of the World Trade Center fell from a terrorist attack. For several days, Gwen was separated from her cats not knowing if they were still alive. I think only a pet lover can truly appreciate the lengths Gwen was willing to take in order to get back to her family.

Reading the story of Homer brought to mind the special cat that we lost two years ago. My wife was a child when her family adopted Bishop. Like Gwen’s husband, I didn’t consider myself a cat lover either. Bishop quickly won me over, and I knew I would do anything in the world for the special soul. Losing her was one of the most difficult tragedies my wife and I had to endure. Although other cats have followed, Bishop will hold a special place with us forever. Like Homer, she was a daredevil that had lots of adventures and used up every moment of her nine lives. One life can truly make a difference to someone else, even if that one life isn’t human.

Sadly, Homer is no longer with us. If you would like to learn more about his life or this author, go to this website that talks about his life in addition to some great information on living with a blind cat. Homer was a being who lived his life to the fullest and knew the importance of connecting to others, both cats and human beings. Always appreciate the ones you love because time really does move with the speed of a blind wonder cat.

“Homer taught me that building my life around someone other than myself, making myself responsible for someone else’s life, is one of the most rewarding differences between being a kid and being an adult.”


Have you read this book? I’d love to know your thoughts!

2 thoughts on “15. ‘Homer’s Odyssey’ by Gwen Cooper

  1. Pingback: 23. ‘Devil in the Details’ by Jennifer Traig – I Would Rather Be Reading

  2. Pingback: Book Awards 2017 – I Would Rather Be Reading

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