Handicats (And Dogs): Your Purrfect Pet!

Sometimes the perfect pet isn’t so perfect. Just ask Gwen Cooper, author of the New York Times Best Seller Homer’s Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale.

It’s the story of a cat that had such a bad eye infection, at just three weeks old his eyes had to be removed.  But for Gwen, living with Homer has turned out to be a lesson in life and love.  The little cat that she was told would be a scared, “underachiever”, turned out to be a fearless fly-catching, bookcase-bounding feline who fended off an intruder and survived the week-from-hell when Gwen couldn’t get back to her lower Manhattan apartment after 9/11.

homers odyssey Handicats (And Dogs): Your Purrfect Pet!

“Above all things, Homer has shown me the great joy to be found in taking risks”, writes Cooper, “I was almost more afraid of success than failure”.

In fact, without Homer, Gwen says she may not have had the guts to tell her best friend (and now husband) Laurence that she wanted to be more than ‘just friends’.   Gwen donates ten percent of the books’ proceeds to animal charities and she and Laurence have collaborated on the online comic book “Handicats” (www.thehandicats.com) in which Homer plugs the BP Oil Spill with the world’s largest furball!

Here in New York, there are plenty of other special needs cats and dogs getting a second chance, thanks to the Picasso Veterinary Fund of the Mayor’s Alliance for New York City’s Animals.

mayors alliance Handicats (And Dogs): Your Purrfect Pet!

The fund was created in 2003 by actresses Bernadette Peters and Mary Tyler Moore, who were inspired by the story of Picasso, a pit bull who came into Animal Care & Control of NYC with a seriously deformed muzzle that did not allow him to eat or breathe normally.

“He would have been euthanized”, says Mayor’s Alliance Animal Care Coordinator Siobhan Healy, “due to the fact that he needed special medical care… and unfortunately Animal Care & Control is not set up for that type of procedure.”

Since its inception, the fund has rescued hundreds of cats and dogs that would otherwise have been put down.

In the latest edition of All For Animals, 1010 WINS’ Susan Richard sat down with Gwen, Homer, Siobhan and “Lovey” (another blind cat) who is alive thanks to the Picasso Fund.  There’s even a cameo by Susan’s one-eyed cutie Louie.

More from Susan Richard
  • Terrie

    Great article! The Picasso Veterinary Fund sounds like a wonderful organization. I’m so glad Bernadette Peters and Mary Tyler Moore created it. Thank you to everyone who is involved with this fund!

  • Gwen Cooper

    Thanks so much again, Susan! We had such a great time meeting you. And MANY thanks for spreading the good word about “handicats” (and dogs)!

    • Margee

      hi Gwen. my husband gave me your book for xmas and it is a a wonderful read. i have a 5 month old blind cat named Boomer and i will be bringing her to manhattan along with 3 other cats soon. Thank you for sharing your story to the world. you have no idea how happy and inspired i was upon reading it.

  • Gina

    Thank you to Bernadette Peters and Mary Tyler Moore for creating the Picasso Veterinary Fund. And thanks to all of those involved in keeping it going. What an awesome organization! I have my own three legged, blind handi-cat, and she means the world to me :-)

  • Susan Richard

    I wuvs Homer and Lovey and Louie!!!

blog comments powered by Disqus
Giving Tuesday
Charles Osgood Event

Listen Live