Sunday, November 4, 2012

'Homer's Odyssey'

There are times in our lives when we need something a bit unexpected.  A surprise.  A hopeful surprise.

We also need to discover that someone else, just like us, has gone through success and failure without becoming 'hardhearted' and pessimistic.  It brings us closer to the human experience and teaches us that despite life's little setbacks, we can always move on, comfortable in the knowledge that we are not alone.

There are also times when someone or something comes into our lives when we need them most; the someone or something that shields us against pessimism with their shining spirit.

That is exactly what I found while reading Gwen Cooper's incredible book, 'Homer's Odyssey'.

Homer is a cat, but not your ordinary, 'garden variety' cat (but what cat isn't unique?).  When he was a mere two weeks old, Homer was rescued and taken to a vet, who discovered that the little guy had a life-threatening eye infection.  To save his life, the vet did the only thing she could do:  She surgically removed his eyes.  The couple who had found him could not adopt him, and the vet could not find anyone who would take him in.  That is, until she called Gwen, one of her customers who had two cats.

It was love at first sight.  Homer grew into a three-pound dynamo, able to leap tall bookcases in a single bound.  He became a master fly killer (seriously).  And he saved Gwen's life.

Full of joy, optimism, and a huge amount of love, 'Homer's Odyssey' is quite unlike any other animal book I've ever read.  I laughed so hard.  But the tears...the tears really flowed when I read the chapter about 9/11 (Gwen lived close to the site of the World Trade Center).  Gwen could not get back to her beloved Homer, Vashti and Scarlett for days.  She tried everything in her power to rescue them as images of the worst possible scenarios regarding them were constantly on her mind:  What if a window had broken and Homer escaped, never to find his way back home?  What if they had run out of food and water?  What if she was never able to hold them again?  It's a tense chapter and you'll want to send a big, fat check to the ASPCA.  

The remarkable, amazing little Homer is the true centerpiece of this story, and you will cheer him on.  You will be astounded when you read about his resourceful nature.  It seems that we all need a Homer in our lives.

And you will learn that love doesn't require having a set of eyes.

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