Anyone who knows me can tell you my first loves were writing, reading and cats. I love a good story, a good story about cats is even better. Meeting the author of one of the best stories about cats is even better! Last Saturday I had the pleasure of meeting Gwen Cooper, author of Homer’s Odyssey and Love Saves the Day. She was at Tree House Humane Society as part of her Love Saves the Day shelter tour. It was wonderful. She signed books, read from Loves Saves the Day and talked to fans.
If you haven’t ready Homer’s Odyssey, I highly encourage you read it as soon as possible.It is such a heart warming story. Homer is a blind cat who came in to Cooper’s life just as she was going through the difficult life changes that come everyone’s way. Homer, was never expected to grow into much of a cat. But, in true feline form Homer didn’t listen. He thrived and in his growing and thriving helped Cooper in her personal struggles. Don’t we all long for a story like that? Some force–human, cat, dog, whatever–to come into our lives and help make things clear? I certainly do. Perhaps that’s why I loved that book so much. I have a special place in my heart for “special needs” cats, so Homer’s Odyssey was special to me right off the bat.
What I also found so amazing about Homer’s Odyssey was the way it spoke to me about life. I am about the same age as Cooper when the book starts, with similar career ambitions, and going through a turbulent time. Life has thrown me some twists and turns, and is certainly not going as planned. I long for someone to come into my life and help guide me, or give me the strength to be strong, teach me the lessons I need to learn the way Homer teaches Cooper. It is also wonderful to know that even though Cooper’s life hit a rough patch, it all worked out in the end. Knowing that there just might be a way for me to be successful, to write and to still help cats without getting burnout is a huge idea for me to hang on to.
I haven’t read Love Saves the Day yet, because my To Be Read pile is so darn long. After listening to parts of the opening chapter I think it will be jumping the line though. It was beautiful, wonderfully written from the perspective of a cat! Listening I would hear one sentence as a cat rescuer, someone who has been adopted by a stray kitty. I would hear the next sentence as a writer and cherish the sentence construction or the imagery
When Cooper was speaking in Chicago she told stories of Homer, stories of getting published and shared some slight insights into her writing. It was fascinating. I loved listening as a writer and as a cat lover. She shared stories of all the wonderful, and strange, gifts people have given her. As she was talking I decided I wanted to give her a copy of my book Tabitha and Dundee Boy: A Story of Friendship. As I waited in line to get my copy of Love Saves the Day signed, I changed my mind about giving her a copy of my book (which I was partially inspired to write because of Homer). Eventually, with some encouragement, I wound up my courage and gave a copy to her. I signed it and slipped my card inside, just in case.