CATVIDEOS.COM brings you the best and most entertaining videos, photos and stories about cats, kittens and the people who love them. Join our community by submitting your own videos, photos and comments about your cat family.
Gwen Cooper and Homer
Gwen Cooper Brings Her Cat Love Story to Austin
Gwen Cooper Book Reading: Love Saves the Day, Sat., May 18, 2 to 4 p.m.
Austin Pets Alive! Bldg. A, 1156 West Cesar Chavez, Austin, Texas USA.
Cats, those beings at the top of the list of mysterious creatures, have been sharing the world with humans for thousands of years. They’ve been crawling up the legs of our jeans and scraping their way down our curtains, shredding both skin and fabric as we human “cat parents” sigh, and simply buy new jeans and hang new window coverings. No matter what, the cat stays.
There is nothing new about people being cat parents. What’s new is our admission to the fact – en masse – and the pride that comes from knowing it’s now “okay” to be owned by a cat.
The internet is now the dog park for cat people. The web we feline parents weave online is a cat park of sorts, built from the videos and stories passed along with pride through our blogs and through social media. We share our cute cat moments, goofy videos and poignant prose about all things feline. In the darkest hours of cat parenthood we cry together, as we accept the fact that our cat’s lifespan is naturally shorter than our own.
If you’re looking for cat people, and great cat stories, there is no place better to find feline-related activity than at your local bookseller. Even with the boom in online cat activity – by and for cat people and their cats – what has never changed is our love of cat books. From All Things Bright and Beautiful, to the silliness of I Am Maru, and the poignant dose of reality in Dewey – The Small Town Cat Who Changed the World, the printed page seems to adopt cats the way Austinites do – as a habit.
Homer's Odyssey has been translated into at least 13 languages.
Bestselling author, Gwen Cooper, knows how to love a cat, and her first feline tale, Homer’s Odyssey, A Fearless Feline Tale, Or How I Learned About Life and Love Living With a Blind Wonder Cat, became an instant favorite with cat lovers around the world, and has been translated into at least 13 languages. Homer has a Facebook following that would rival any rock star on the planet and his fans have waited, and prayed, through some trying times for the kitty in the past year.
Cooper’s second dive into cat literature, a novel titled Love Saves the Day, will make many a daughter, mother and cat lover sigh, cry, laugh, and – most of all – remember that love really can save just about any of us from ourselves. With a voice only a cat could muster, the heroine, Prudence, dishes out cat philosophy as she figures out what’s going on with her suddenly up-ended world.
“Humans best understand the truth of things if they come at it indirectly. Like how sometimes the best way to catch a mouse that’s right in front of you is to back up before you pounce.”
So notes Prudence, the irresistible brown tabby at the center of Gwen's tender, joyful, utterly unforgettable novel, which is mostly told through the eyes of this curious (and occasionally cranky) feline. When five-week-old Prudence meets a woman named Sarah in a deserted construction site on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, she knows she’s found the human she was meant to adopt. For three years their lives are filled with laughter, tuna, catnaps, music, and the unchanging routines Prudence craves. Then one day Sarah doesn’t come home. From Prudence’s perch on the windowsill she sees Laura, the daughter who hardly ever comes to visit Sarah, arrive with her new husband. They’re carrying boxes. Before they even get to the front door, Prudence realizes that her life has changed forever.
Suddenly Prudence finds herself living in a strange apartment with humans she barely knows. It could take years to train them in the feline courtesies and customs (for example, a cat should always be fed before the humans, and at the same exact time every day) that Sarah understood so well. Prudence clings to the hope that Sarah will come back for her while Laura, a rising young corporate attorney, tries to push away memories of her mother and the tumultuous childhood spent in her mother’s dusty downtown record store. The secret joys, past hurts, and life-changing moments that make every mother-daughter relationship special will come to the surface, and with Prudence’s help, daughter Laura will learn that the past, like a mother’s love, never dies.
Poignant, insightful, and laugh-out-loud funny in the ways only a cat can be, Love Saves the Day is a story of hope, healing, and how the love of an animal can make all of us better humans. It’s the story of a mother and daughter divided by the turmoil of bohemian New York, and the opinionated, irrepressible feline who will become the bridge between them.
It’s a novel for anyone who’s ever lost a loved one, wondered what their cat was really thinking, or fallen asleep with a purring feline nestled in their arms. Prudence, a cat like no other, is sure to steal your heart.
Gwen Cooper: Wonderwoman and Cat Parent. Cooper’s career, and eventual dive into authoring cat books, began in Miami, where Gwen spent five years working in nonprofit administration, marketing, and fundraising. She coordinated and led direct-service volunteer activities on behalf of organizations including Pet Rescue, the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind, the Miami Rescue Mission, His House, Habitat for Humanity, Ronald McDonald House, the Daily Bread Food Bank, and Family Resource Center (an organization providing emergency shelter for abused and neglected children). She also initiated Reading Pen Pals, an elementary school-based literacy program in Miami’s Little Haiti.
Gwen was selected for membership in the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Miami program—and was nominated for Leadership Miami’s Carlos Arboleya Community Service Award. She also joined the Hannah Kahn Poetry Foundation.
Eventually making a career transition from non-rofit administration to marketing communications, Gwen moved to Manhattan in 2001 and was Creative Services Manager for AOL Time Warner’s online marketing group. In 2003, Gwen was offered the position of Special Projects Manager at Wenner Media, publisher of Rolling Stone and Us Weekly, where she worked until the sale of her first book early in 2006.
Gwen currently lives in Manhattan with her husband, Laurence. She also lives with her three perfect cats—Homer, Clayton, and Fanny. The author says that the kitties really aren’t impressed with any of it.
Gwen’s national book tour for Love Saves the Day is scheduled not for the usual bookstore locations, but she reads and signs her books only at No-Kill shelters and adoption/rescue facilities in each city she visits. She will read to the humans, and to the kitties, at each stop. In Austin, Gwen is visiting Austin Pets Alive! and stated about her visit to the Lone Star's capital, "I live in New York, and most of what we hear about Austin up here has to do with the arts and music scene. But since writing Homer's Odyssey and now Love Saves the Day, I've heard from so many wonderful shelter volunteers in Austin, and from so many readers who've adopted animals there. I know that Austin is the first major US city to become a truly no-kill city, and I'm incredibly excited to get to go there and meet the hard-working people who've made that possible."
Cooper believes that when you help animals, you help people. The tour for Love Saves the Day highlights that animal welfare is ultimately about human welfare. The shelters and rescue groups on the tour have been selected on the strength of innovative programs that extend their work with animals into programs that serve humans. They've implemented programs that serve the elderly, the homeless, military families, at-risk children (with programs for literacy, anti-bullying, character building), low-income families, disaster survivors, domestic violence victims, and more. Love does save the day, and not just for the animals these organizations rescue.
Donations of blankets, cat litter, cat food and toys for the kitties waiting to be adopted are encouraged, and can be brought to the Austin Pets Alive! Gwen Cooper Book Reading on May 18, at 2 p.m.
ARM & HAMMER® Ultra Last™Clumping Cat Litter is donating 500 pounds of litter to each shelter and rescue group on the tour and Litter Genies are being given away to a limited number of attendees at each book signing.
Austin’s largest no-kill organization, Austin Pets Alive! implements innovative and progressive programs in Austin and Central Texas after studying the best practices of other cities who are no-kill or are in the process of becoming no-kill. Their PASS (Positive Alternatives to Shelter Surrender) program helps people who are having pet problems so that they don’t need to surrender their pets to kill shelters.
Volunteers take phone calls and emails from pet owners in crisis and help them find the resources they need to keep or rehome their pets. If owners are surrendering their pet because of medical issues that they cannot afford, PASS or AAC (Austin Animal Center) will refer them to the Pets Alive community clinic, where pets are treated with sliding scale fees.
For more information about Austin Pets Alive! go to: www.austinpetsalive.org
You can follow Gwen, Homer and all the kitties at www.gwencooper.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Homerblindcatfans.
Gwen Cooper Book Reading: Love Saves the Day, Sat, May 18, 2 to 4p.m., Austin Pets Alive! Bldg. A, 1156 West Cesar Chavez.
Gwen will also make a private stop at Shadow Cats in the Austin area on Friday, May 17. You can watch Gwen read from Love Saves the Day, LIVE, at 7 p.m., Fri., May 17 at www.ShadowCats.net. Information is on Shadow Cats website's home page. The kitty cam link is: http://www.shadowcats.net/kitty-cam.php
“Mews of the Day” is a fun, enlightening look at the world of cats, large and small. Join us here on CATVIDEOS.com, as we share news, blogs, photos and entertaining videos about – and for – cats.
Photos and info courtesy of Gwen Cooper and Austin Pets Alive!