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Sunday, November 23, 2014

{Book Review} Cat Daddy: What the World's Most Incorrigible Cat Taught Me About Life, Love, and Coming Clean by Jackson Galaxy

Cat Daddy: What the World's Most Incorrigible Cat Taught Me About Life, Love, and Coming Clean
by Jackson Galaxy, Joel Derfner
Publisher: Tantor Media
Release: May 10th 2012
Genre: Non-Fiction: Audio- Adult: Animals, self-help
How I got it: Edelweiss

Cat behaviorist and star of Animal Planet's hit television show My Cat from Hell, Jackson Galaxy, a.k.a. "Cat Daddy," isn't what you might expect for a cat expert (as the New York Times noted, with his goatee and tattoos he "looks like a Hell's Angel"). Yet Galaxy's ability to connect with even the most troubled felines—not to mention the stressed-out humans living in their wake—is awe-inspiring. In this book, Galaxy tells the poignant story of his thirteen-year relationship with a petite gray-and-white short-haired cat named Benny, and gives singular advice for living with, caring for, and loving the feline in your home.

When Benny arrived in his life, Galaxy was a down-and-out rock musician with not too much more going on than a part-time job at an animal shelter and a drug problem. Benny's previous owner brought the cat to the shelter in a cardboard box to give him up. Benny had seen better days—his pelvis had just been shattered by the wheels of a car—and his owner insisted he'd been "unbondable" from day one. Nothing could have been further from the truth.

An inspiring account of two broken beings who fixed each other, Cat Daddy is laced throughout with Galaxy's amazing "Cat Whisperer" advice for understanding what cats need most from us in order to live happier, healthier lives.

 Review: Not what I expected but still oh so good. It takes quite a bit to get me emotional over a book and I actually cried at the end of this book. It's an emotional roll-a-coaster making you laugh, shake your head and yeah even cry.
I feel the need to point out that I never thought of myself as a cat person, sure over the years I have taken in or more like forced my parents to let me take in a number of strays. The most memorable being Hades a huge orange and white furry monstrosity who started as a kitten, his mother Furball (a barn cat we took in) had him, his brothers and sisters in our closet. Sky a three legged black kitten who got around as good as any four legged cat. Finally Tom a grey and white tabby who died due to the neighbors poisoning the mice that he caught and ate. When I started dating my now husband my life into being a cat person really started. My mother-in-law took in strays along with her sister who runs an animal charity. Over the years we have taken in many cats from the charity along with the few who have somehow found their ways to us. Tom the second a grey male who I found under our trailer wounded due to his collar becoming tangled around his foreleg and creating a huge sore spot. And Mama who had her kittens in our shed. Mama is the reason I started watching My Cat from Hell.
When we took in Mama and her 7 kittens we already had two males (Dazy and Mint Berry both adoptions from a stray my MIL took in) so we had ten cats in the house and I was at my wits end. Mama hated everybody. She would run away only to come back a few weeks later looking for food. We managed to adopt out all the kittens but two who assimilated into our family well, but Mama drove me crazy. I stumbled over My Cat From Hell and was hooked. It really helped me figure out how to help her. She never really became part of the family, but tolerated us. Last Spring ripped out a screen and ran away for good, but she taught me so much. Mama is the reason this book resonated with me so much.
Mr Galaxy's tale of Benny and how his love of animals changed his life was really powerful to me. Listening to him tell the story made it all that more impressive. He goes from a, I'm going to be blunt, a drugged out hippy to a respectable animal behaviorist with no real professional training.  This is an amazing story. I saw Mr Galaxy on the show this bald, tattoo'd man with a weird goatee carrying around a guitar case filled with cat toys and you go ooookkkeeyyy. But learning his story how fate kept tossing him curve balls, and pulling him down just to have him say f*** you I'm not staying down. I love how he found himself, and decided I'm going to be me. I found it wonderful that his love for a tiny little "unbondable" ball of fur helped him learn so much. Cat Daddy is peppered with tips and tricks to help us understand our feline friends, along with some at the end of the book. This is an amazing and inspiring story, I really fell in love with. To be honest five stars isn't enough for this book.

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