Homer the Blind Cat has Died

By Elisa Black-Taylor

Homer the blind catHomer, the blind cat who inspired the book Homer’s Odyssey, has died after a year of failing health. The message is that every cat is equal and has equal “value”.

Homer turned 16 last month, and the decision to euthanize him for ongoing health reasons was carried out on August 21 when his owner the author, Gwen Cooper, decided it was time to let him go.

Not only did Homer have a bad liver, but he had intestinal problems as well.

Homer kept everyone on edge last fall and winter. His vet said he shouldn’t be alive. Homer proved the vet wrong. Homer shouldn’t have had enough energy to eat and play and jump. He did it all. It was a tough year, and Gwen was kind enough to share Homer’s declining health with those who loved the little guy.

Gwen wrote on Homer’s Facebook page shortly after his death.

“I wanted to let you know that we put Homer to sleep this past Wednesday night. He was so tired, and it was time. 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.”

Gwen wrote in her blog about Homer that his death is not to be mourned. She prefers to celebrate his life. A life lived to the full and “beyond what even I could ever have imagined for him“.

Gwen says that “dozens of other people…had the chance to adopt him [but] turned him down“. Gwen says it was her good fortune that others thought he was not worth adopting. She did adopt him and the rewards were high. Michael has always said this. If you adopt a cat that no one wants you’ll reap the rewards a thousand fold. It is interesting that Homer was a blind black cat; pretty well unadoptable in the modern world. Yet look what happened in the right hands.

Gwen is a very poetic author. She writes beautiful words about Homer but her greatest work was to adopt Homer.

Every animal who’s given the chance to love and be loved can make someone else’s life better, can fill up empty places in our hearts we didn’t even know were there until they were full.

Gwen is having a tough time coming to terms with Homer’s death:

I feel like I’ve lost a part of myself, some essential part of my body that I keep expecting to be there–and my mind simply won’t accept that it isn’t. …..How can I grieve for a loss that I still haven’t come close to accepting is real and permanent?

I’ve been extraordinarily lucky to have known a great deal of love…… And I grieve for the loss of my boy, my little, little boy, the heart of my heart and the very best part of the person I always wanted to be. I do try to take comfort in the knowledge that Homer is whole now, and at peace–and that he will always, always be loved.” 1

After Homer’s death, Dr. Patty Khuly, the veterinarian who helped save his life 16 years ago, got a thank you note from Gwen for bringing Homer into her life. Patty wrote back to Gwen

“All I did was open a window. You furnished the whole damn house. So thank you again, Gwen. Because if veterinarians didn’t have people like you to believe in, we’d never get the chance to accept challenges like Homer’s. And I shudder to think what veterinary medicine would look like without the people and patients who fuel idealistic moments like the one that compelled me to smuggle him through surgery all those years ago.”

Gwen has always given 10% of the profit from her books to needy rescues. She has just announced that 100% of her royalties on all paperback copies of LOVE SAVES THE DAY pre-ordered or sold in-store between now and October 27 (it comes out October 22) will be donated to Blind Cat Rescue in Homer’s name.

I’ve written about Homer quite a bit, as has Michael. The links can be found at the bottom of this article.

Rest in peace, little Homer. You were an amazing little kitty, and you showed the world just how much a handicapped cat could accomplish, despite all odds.



  1. gwencooper.com/blog/entry/homer


  1. mnn.com/family/pets/stories/homer-the-blind-cat-who-inspired-a-bestseller-has-died
  2. http://pictures-of-cats.org/Blind-Cat-Homer-Is-Sick.html
  3. http://pictures-of-cats.org/the-cats-of-911.html
  4. http://pictures-of-cats.org/what-has-your-cat-taught-you.html
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Homer the Blind Cat has Died — 12 Comments

  1. This is very sad.

    Can I suggest to anybody who hasn’t read the book – go to google books and read the first few pages of the book. I did – there’s a ‘preview’ of ‘Homer’s Odyssey’ and I loved the beginning. You will get a perfect picture of Homer. Gwen is a great writer.

    • Gwen is a great writer. I just hope the greatness of this blind, black cat is also appreciated. What I mean is Homer represents the unwanted cats. I hope more unwanted cats are adopted.

  2. Homer the cats death is to be celebrated since he lived to the old age of 16 years despite being blind.I haven’t read the book “Homer’s Odyssey”. The combination of a handicapped cat and a talented human writer/owner Gwen.Cooper has resulted in a great partnership.


  4. God bless you Homer I only met you a couple of months ago via facebook its a shame you are not with us now but I will always remember you as I was looking for a cat pal abroad and we only said Hi. My Sincerest regrets and sympathy It sad when they leave us but it is so hard .Dave Hamlin UK . xxx =^.^=

  5. Gwen, on your book tour, you came to the Nine Lives Cat Shelter, in Redwood City, California. You went into the Feline Leukemia cage full of cats dying of this preventable disease. These poor, sick, cats sensed your beautiful, loving heart, and climbed into your arms. Homer knows you, he had your love for 16 years. His spirit will hang around you for a little while. He will be a flicker you think you see, disappearing around a corner,as long as he senses you need his love. Thank you for all you do, and will do!

    • Cathy, thanks for your last couple of sentences. I don’t divulge some of same and many experiences I’ve had like that because, even ny closest fried, looks at me like I’m crazy.

  6. I had a blind cat too. He was amazing!! He could do so many things my sighted cats couldn’t do. His name was Gizmo. He was a happy cat! I miss him so much! R.I.P. Homer!! Love you!!

  7. R.I.P. little Homer.
    I have a special blind female orange tabby, Dreama. She sustained brain damage when she “died” while being anesthesized for spaying. I’m so grateful that she was able to be revived. She may be blind and just a little “goofy”, but she’s a sweety.

  8. May you RIP Homer and enjoy all the wonderful fun you will have at Rainbow Bridge. Until the day you are reunited w/his life with the Gwen and Michael some day. Until then enjoy the beautiful weather kitties toys, grass and trees you can now see around you.

    Gwen, you did a wonderful thing by adopting Homer and sharing his life with the world. As my kitties have done he will be around from time to time in a some way that was special only to you.
    God bless you and thank you!

    Audrey (Florida)

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