I began following Homer the Cat on Facebook shortly after I read Gwen Cooper’s touching memoir, Homer’s Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale, or How I Learned About Love and Life with a Blind Wonder Cat.
This little eyeless, four-week-old black kitten Cooper adopted taught her about courage, resiliency, and the depth of love between a cat and a person. When Homer’s Odyssey became a New York Times best seller, it was obvious that the story touched hearts all over the world.
Homer and Cooper used their fame to encourage the adoption of special-needs cats and support animal rescue organizations. Cooper donated 10 percent of the royalties from Homer’s Odyssey to organizations that serve abused, abandoned and disabled animals, and Homer often shared the stories of cats in need on his Facebook page.
Now this amazing cat, who opened many eyes to the unique love that our special feline friends can give, has gone on to the next world.
Last week, Cooper made the most courageous and loving choice any cat caretaker can make: She released Homer from his suffering.
Late last fall, Homer fell ill. His liver enzyme levels were off the charts and there was something terribly wrong with his intestines, too. According to a post in Cooper’s blog, the vets were amazed that Homer was alive, let alone spunky enough to fight off three vet techs.
Through the winter and spring, Homer appeared to bounce back several times, regaining his appetite and zest for life. But recently it had become clear to Cooper that Homer’s bad days were outnumbering the good ones.
"I wanted to let you know that we put Homer to sleep this past Wednesday night. He was so tired, and it was time," Cooper wrote Sunday on Homer’s Facebook page. "We were lucky enough to find a very gentle vet to come to us at home, and Homer passed peacefully, in his own bed, in my arms."
I hope you will join me in offering my sincerest condolences and compassion to Cooper, her partner Laurence, and Homer’s furry siblings. In lieu of flowers or gifts, Cooper asks that you make a donation to your favorite animal rescue or charity.
Gwen Cooper talks about meeting Homer and how he stole her heart.
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About JaneA Kelley: Punk-rock cat mom, science nerd, animal shelter volunteer, and all-around geek with a passion for bad puns, intelligent conversation, and role-play adventure games. She gratefully and gracefully accepts her status as chief cat slave for her family of feline bloggers, who have been writing their cat advice column, Paws and Effect, since 2003. JaneA dreams of making a great living out of her love for cats.
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