Author Gwen Cooper knows how to spin a tale. Take Homer the Blind Wonder Cat, for instance. If you've never met Homer, trust me -- you do not know what you're missing.
Homer's Odyssey is one of the very few pet stories you can read, confident in the knowledge that, in the end, the main character does not die. We're happy to report that Homer is alive and well, and living large in New York City.
And for me, that's huge. Not that I mind a well-crafted story with a sad ending. But it's nice to have the happy endings too. So that part of Homer's Odyssey is a spoiler I'll willingly share.
Homer is the champion of all differently-abled pets everywhere. He's proof that what others call a disability is nothing of the sort.
His story is gripping, laugh out loud funny and touching. And the tale is 100% true. We promise you won't be able to put it down.
But we're not here to talk about Homer (though he's one cool dude for sure).
We're here to talk about Gwen's next book, Love Saves the Day. The star of this book is one spunky kitty named Prudence. Much of this story is told through her eyes.
How different the world looks through a feline lens!
For one thing, after reading this book, you'll never again wonder if a cat can grieve when losing their human companion (something shelter workers know all about, by the way).
Prudence is rehomed with her human's somewhat estranged adult daughter after her human passes away early in the book, and much of the story is about the journey of adjusting to a new life -- for both human and cat alike.
As each goes through the grieving process, an intricate relationship evolves between Prudence and her new human. And along the way, a wonderful healing takes place.
I won't lie to you; you'll need a box of tissue to make it through this one. It's an emotional wringer.
But it's touching and poignant and well worth the ride.
Best of all, Kansas Citians will get the opportunity to meet the author, Gwen Cooper, in person this Saturday. She's appearing at 1 PM at Unity Temple on the Plaza at an author event held by Rainy Day Books - her Kansas City stop on the national book tour sponsored by Arm & Hammer Litter. (And the first 100 people at the event will receive a free Litter Genie.)
There are several cool things you need to know about this event:
Gwen chose Kansas City because she wanted this book tour to be something different than what she's ever done before, and our home town just happened to fit that criteria.
She wanted this book tour to benefit shelters. Specifically she wanted to feature No-Kill shelters that had some form of humane education program in place -- something that benefited humans as well as animals.
Gwen said it best (from her own web site):
"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."
We're proud to say that the Humane Education program created by the staff and volunteers at Wayside Waifs is the reason Gwen chose Kansas City. If you're not familiar with their No More BULLIES! campaign, here is how Wayside describes it:
"No More BULLIES! works to prevent violence by teaching children the humane education principles of compassion, responsibility, self-control, integrity and respecting the right of others, including pets. Statistics prove that developing these principles in young people through the humane treatment of pets leads children to greater empathy for fellow human beings."
We're thrilled that Rainy Day Books is donating 10% of the proceeds from this event to Wayside as well. Wayside representatives will be there to answer any questions you may have -- and oh, by the way, they'll even have a kitten or two at the event, so be sure to come a few minutes early to work in a requisite kitty cuddle.
Come out and meet Gwen, hear her read excerpts from her latest book, and spend a moment cuddling one of the many steal-your-heart kittens Wayside Waifs has currently available for adoption. Tickets are available now through Saturday at Rainy Day Book's web site.
Maybe you'll make a love connection of the furry kind while you're there, who knows?