Homer: The Ninth Life of a Blind Wonder Cat
Homer, the Ninth Life of a Blind Wonder Cat is a new, nonfiction release by Gwen Cooper. It is a sequel to her 2009 bestseller, Homer’s Odyssey.
For those readers who are unfamiliar with Homer and Gwen’s story, here’s a little bit of background: Gwen adopted Homer from a shelter when he was just a few weeks old. Nobody wanted him because he was blind, having lost his eyes to an untreatable infection. Not many people– no matter how avid an animal lover they might be– would be up to the challenge of caring for a special needs animal like Homer. Gwen couldn’t resist the tiny, curious black kitten, and brought him home. Even if you haven’t read Homer’s Odyssey, you’ll still be able to enjoy the sequel, as Gwen provides enough backstory to familiarize new readers with Homer and his history.
While the first book contains lots of humorous anecdotes and breath-taking moments, The Ninth Life gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at at Homer’s rise to fame. In a way, it’s a prequel, as well as a sequel. Aspiring authors will be able to relate to Gwen’s frustration as she faced countless rejections while trying to find a publisher for Homer’s story. One publishing honcho labeled the idea of an eyeless kitten “creepy,” while another stated that “cat people don’t read.” Needless to say, they were very, very wrong. Upon its release, Homer’s Odyssey climbed to #14 on the New York Times bestseller list. Homer rose to international fame, with the book being translated into many languages, including French, Russian, Chinese, and Korean. The author paints an amusing picture of what it was like having an army of photographers and reporters swarming her small apartment. She hilariously recounts how grown men and women went to ridiculous lengths to cajole Homer to pose and perform for the cameras.
The Ninth Life is not just Homer’s story. The author also talks about her other cats, Scarlett and Vashti, who kind of got overshadowed by their superstar “brother.” Gwen did not love them any less. Unfortunately, as all pet owners know, there comes a time to say goodbye. All I can say is, keep a box of tissues handy.
The book ends on a happy note, with the introduction of Gwen’s new furbabies, Clayton and Fanny (black cats, like Homer, of course). Clayton had a bit of a rough start to life too, but I’ll let you read about it rather than spilling any more details here.
Meanwhile, Homer’s legacy lives on. Gwen has faithfully kept his Facebook page going, It not only pays tribute to Homer’s memory, but draws attention to the plight of other stray, physically challenged, or otherwise disadvantaged cats in need of medical care and/ or loving homes. Homer’s page currently has over 756,000 “likes.”
Homer, the Ninth Life of a Blind Wonder Cat is self-published by Gwen, and you can order it directly from her here.