If you’re a longtime reader of The Cat’s Meow, you’ll remember the story of Homer the Blind Wonder Cat and how he changed his catmom’s life.
The book, Homer’s Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale was a New York Times bestseller and is scheduled to be released in paperback on Sept. 7th.
The Handicats! is a new online comic book starring Homer the Fearless Feline and his super-buddy sidekick Ajax the Bionic Kitty. In their first adventure, Episode #1 Of Origins and Oil Spills, Homer and Ajax save the world and plug the Gulf oil spill using a bionic furball!
Homer’s mom, Gwen, explains the genesis of the Handicats project:
Back in June, a news story about a bionic cat in England whod had his two hind legs replaced with artificial limbs spread throughout the online Catverse. Were long-time comic book fans in this house, and we compare the real-life Homer to the Marvel Comics superhero Daredevil all the time. We should team Homer up with a bionic cat, I said to my husband, and the two of them could fight crime and have adventures together. We were amused by the idea, although we didnt plan to actually do anything with it. Then, while we were watching the July 4th fireworks, my husband had an image of two catsone black and one whiteparachuting together across a fireworks-strewn sky.
Thus, The Handicats! was born. It seemed appropriate to have them tackle the Gulf oil spill. As a Florida native who grew up in the waters of the Atlantic and the Gulf, I viewed the daily news stories about the disaster with horror. Watching the oil spreaddestroying the communities and ecosystems and marine life that formed some of my earliest memorieswas like watching my childhood disappear. It seemed like the only solution would have to involve some sort of superhuman intervention.
I was ready for a hero.
A cat might not seem like the obvious first choice for that herounless, that is, you know Homer. The real-life Homer is much like his comic-book alter-ego. Like Homer the Fearless Feline, Homer the housecat is a crime-fighter from way backever since the night when he chased off a full-grown man who had broken into my apartment at 4:00am. You can read that story (which is also a chapter in Homers Odyssey, the memoir I wrote about Homer) here. Nothing is too tall for Homer to climb, nothing too high for him to make a daring leap off of. Like the comic-book Homer, our Homer routinely catches buzzing flies in mid-air, sniffs out the can of tuna from all the other canned goods in our pantry, and navigates his world with such seamless dexterity that casual observers never realize hes blind until it occurs to them that theres something odd-looking about his face.
You can see video of Homer in action here.
Best of all, through the sales of Homers Odyssey, this September I will be able to donate $10,000 to Blind Cat Rescue and Sanctuary, Inc.one of only a handful of shelters in the U.S. that provides a permanent, safe, and loving home for blind cats. Homer was once considered unadoptable because of his blindness. Most blind cats are. I still hope, however, that Homer will prove once and for all that a special needs pet can live as long and happy a life as a normal oneand provide some inspiration along the way.
Not everybody gets to live with a real-life superhero. Ive been lucky enough to have that privilege for 13 years. And wherever Homers and my adventures may take us next, I will always be grateful.