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The HOMER Anthology

The HOMER Anthology

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  • CELEBRATE THE HUMAN/FELINE BOND WITH ALL ITS JOYS, MYSTERIES, AND LIFE-CHANGING MOMENTS...

    Gwen Cooper returns with the ongoing adventures of her much-beloved, world-famous fur family. Ideal for new readers and longtime fans alike, this memoir told in twelve purr-fect cat stories is filled with all the humor and heart Gwen's...
    Read more

    CELEBRATE THE HUMAN/FELINE BOND WITH ALL ITS JOYS, MYSTERIES, AND LIFE-CHANGING MOMENTS...

    Gwen Cooper returns with the ongoing adventures of her much-beloved, world-famous fur family. Ideal for new readers and longtime fans alike, this memoir told in twelve purr-fect cat stories is filled with all the humor and heart Gwen's devoted readership has come to know and love. Fan-favorite tales include “Spray Anything” and “Getting There is Half the Fun.”

    Sure to be treasured by cat lovers everywhere, The HOMER Anthology will leave you laughing out loud, shedding an occasional tear, and hugging your own cat a little bit closer.


    Read less

    What Readers Are Saying

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “A must-read for Homer fans. Heartwarming and beautifully written.”

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “This book will delight you. Hard to put down once started!”

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Written in a warm and humorous way as only Ms. Cooper can tell it.”

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Such an enjoyable read!”

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Love Gwen Cooper and all her cats!”

    Read A Sample

    The Bells

    By the time I adopted Fanny and Clayton, it had been nearly fifteen years since I’d lived with a kitten.  And although my little feline family had felt
    complete—more than complete—once I’d adopted Homer all those years ago, there had always been a part of me that had longed for the tiny, adorable, curious and obstinate, rough-and-tumble sweetness of a kitten.  Since Homer’s Odyssey had been published a few years earlier, I’d visited more cat
    shelters in far-flung corners of the country than I could count—and, always, there were kittens in need of homes who I’d cradled and cuddled close and sighed over, before reluctantly returning them back to their caretakers.  Fortunately, I’d never followed through on the mad impulse I occasionally felt to simply stuff a kitten into my handbag and
    stroll out nonchalantly. (My purse isn’t meowing!  Maybe your purse is meowing!)  But the temptation was a sore one, and Laurence always heaved a barely concealed sigh of relief each time I returned
    from a shelter visit in possession of no larger number of cats than I’d left home with.

    Nevertheless, when Homer suddenly found himself an only cat after the passing of Scarlett—a distinction he’d never wanted and clearly was not enjoying—my first thought had been to adopt some nice, mellow, middle-aged cat as a companion for him.  Homer was fifteen by then, after all. 
    A rambunctious kitten would almost certainly require more energy on Homer’s part than he seemed able to spare these days.

    Homer’s obvious grief after we lost Scarlett—the way he dragged himself, like an old man with stiff joints, through our home; the listless manner in which he gave some favored toy a cursory bat with his paw before slinking disconsolately away from it—had been difficult to see, and his sadness had deepened and extended my own.  Even four months later, it was impossible to be happy when Homer was unhappy, to feel that I was moving past my grief when Homer so clearly was unable to move past his.  Laurence, on more than one occasion, observed that, “This has become a sad house,” and he spoke the truth. 

    And, while it arguably shouldn’t have mattered, Homer’s grief was made all the more difficult for me to bear by my rock-solid certainty that Scarlett herself—had she wound up as the last cat standing rather than Homer—would have greeted the return of her “only child” status, after so many years of sharing her home with two other cats she’d never wanted, with unabashed glee.  Don’t be sad for Scarlett, I wanted to yell at Homer sometimes.  She
    wouldn’t have been sad for you!
      But grief, like all emotions, rarely obeys strict logic, and that sort of
    reasoning—born as much from my own fear for Homer’s health and wellbeing as anything else—almost certainly wouldn’t have mattered much to a human mourner, much less a feline one. 

    Vashti and Scarlett may have gone far out of their way to exclude and avoid Homer as much as possible back in the old days, but they’d nevertheless formed a crucial component of his daily social life.  With a seemingly deliberate obliviousness, he had pursued the two of them—trying to engage them in play or long,
    companionable naps together—every day for fifteen years.  Now there was nobody for Homer to play or
    socialize with, except for a human mom who’d never be as good at doing cat things as that cattiest of all possible cats, my Scarlett, had been.

    I wasn’t sure how Homer would react to having to get used to a new cat for the very first time in his life.  Homer, himself, had been my last “new cat.”  But, after four months of unsuccessful attempts to get Homer out of his funk and coax him back into the spirited playfulness that had once been his trademark, I was both desperate and fresh out of other ideas.

    Neither of the mellow, middle-aged cats I’d agreed to foster, however, in the hopes of finding a new companion for Homer, had proved to be a match personality-wise.  They’d gone on to forever homes of their own, and in their wake I was left with the
    growing realization that a kitten, despite my reservations, was probably the best way to go.  I was extraordinarily reluctant to add even an additional particle of unhappiness to Homer’s already too-heavy burden by forcing upon him the necessity of adjusting himself to a new cat’s quirks, preferences, or temperament.  A kitten, on the other hand, would be the one to adjust to Homer’s
    personality and preferences—Homer would be the reigning “big cat” of our home—without
    expecting any similar effort on Homer’s part. 

    It also stood to reason that, if I were going to adopt one kitten to be a companion to Homer, then in reality I’d have to adopt two—so they could bounce and bandy and tear around our home with each other, hopefully without pestering Homer too much if his own enthusiasm was more limited than theirs. 

    And so it was that, after fifteen kitten-free years—during which I’d never entirely gotten over my desire to add a new kitten to our household—I suddenly found myself preparing to adopt not just one, but
    two new kittens at the same time.

    ***

    Gwen donates 10% of every purchase made in her online store to organizations that rescue abused, abandoned, and disabled animals.

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