A General Update on Homer, the Tour, and the Kittens' First Birthday!

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Hi, guys!  Sorry it's been so long since I've posted an update on Homer, the book, or anything else.  The flu bug hit us pretty hard in the Cooper-Lerman household.  You know how the story goes: poor Laurence had to spend days taking care of me, and then by the time I finally started feeling better, he came down with the same thing I had.  Happily, we're all feeling much better now.  Even better--Homer is doing GREAT!



It's absolutely amazing to see how Homer has rebounded these past few weeks.  His appetite is tremendous (truly--he never stops eating!), he's been incredibly playful and energetic, and while I'd definitely be happier if he put on a bit of weight, at least he's no longer losing weight.  Considering that I was told two months ago not to expect him to live for more than another few days or weeks, I'll take the slighlty-skinnier-than-normal Homer and call it a win. :-D

As for the tour: I have to apologize, because I know y'all were expecting an announcement today of a final list of cities and shelters.  Unfortunately, however, I won't be able to make the Valentine's Day announcement I was hoping to make.  I'm truly, truly sorry about that.  All-in I lost nearly a week to the flu, and hard as I've tried I wasn't able to make that week up in time to post a full list of shelters and cities today.

What I can do right now is post a partial list of cities that I will definitely be visiting.  This is only a partial list!  More cities are going to be added, and once I have every single shelter confirmed (hopefully within the next week), I'll post a final list of both cities and specific shelters.  I should have a list of exact dates in March, but for your general knowledge the tour will kick off in May and run through July, possibly even into August. 

Here's the list of confirmed cities thus far:

Miami (March 28--Miami will be the only city visited outside of the tour's general time frame)


Aiken, S. Carolina






Kansas City

San Francisco

Los Angeles

New York

New Jersey (Ocean County)


I'm also attempting to add: Denver, Dallas, Portland, and/or Minneapolis, and that will probably round out the list.  The original plan was to visit 12 cities, and--as you can see--that number appears to be blossoming up to 17!  I'd love to visit many, many more--and hope to continue to visit shelters, sanctuaries, and rescue groups even once the tour has concluded--but, of course, I have to try to keep this tour at least somewhat manageable! :-)

And, last but not least, the kittens turn a year old today!  So I guess now I have to start calling them "cats."  ;-p  They're such unbelievably sweet, funny, goofy little guys who've brought so much love and joy into our home.  Laurence is absolutely crazy about them and spoils them almost worse than I do.  Much love and gratitude goes out to Furrever Friends, a wonderful foster network in Woodbury, NJ, for bringing these little guys into our lives!


Today is Valentine's Day, and I've been thinking a lot about love in its various forms--especially, I suppose, because my new book is called Love Saves the Day.  You could say that love saved the day for all three of our kitties--they're all rescues, after all--but I'm sure many of you will know what I mean when I say that, truth be told, their love saved my day.  Clayton and Fanny turn 1 today, and I truly hate to think about how sad all of us--especially Homer--were after the loss of our beloved Scarlett and Vashti.  Clayton and Fanny haven't replaced our girls, but their loving little hearts (and funny little ways) have filled some of the holes in our hearts that Scarlett and Vashti left behind.

Has the love of an animal saved the day for you?  Tell me about it in the comments section.  And a happy Valentine's Day to all!



  • Mandy Thursday, 14 February 2013

    Cats Are Unconditional Love Muffins

    Yes, I have four furry little monsters that keep me going. I have severe depression and they help a lot more than my medication to keep my head up and functioning. One was rescued from a shelter. The other three just came to me by way of the streets. Scarlett, my shelter girl, is 14, and I still refer to her as a kitten. There's no law stating they have to revert to cats at a certain age. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

    So glad to hear about Home-boy doing much better. Also, having had the flu at the beginning of January, I feel your pain. Glad to hear all is well now.

    P.S. Fort Worth (Dallas) would LOVE to see you!

  • Stacey Thursday, 14 February 2013

    My cat, Sebastian, has asthma and is diabetic. Every day, he gets insulin shots and a pill twice a day, as well as a special inhaler if he has an asthma attack. We have to have him checked every so often to see how the insulin is working for him. Despite all of these things, he still comes to be petted, snuggled, and loved and I'm more than happy to give him those things. He's very special to me and I feel he truly defines unconditional love. He makes me happy and I wouldn't trade him for the world.

  • Cassie Raymond Thursday, 14 February 2013

    Beautiful Ginger Kitties~

    I have two rescue cats in my household--Buster and Beanie. Buster came from a shelter in southern Maryland and Beanie (who just happens to be blind!) came from a shelter on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. I can't imageine my house without them. They truly make it a home. Never turn away from a rescue. They will give you more love than you could ever imagine! And thank you for sharing your story of Homer with all of us, Gwen. He's the reason Beanie joined our home. It just amazes me on a daily basis how Beanie doesn't know that his life should be limited. He couldn't live it anymore fully than he does now!

  • Doreen Fraser Thursday, 14 February 2013

    Good News from you!!

    Hi Gwen and gang!! So very glad to hear that everyone is back up and running. And such fantastic news about Homer. I truly believe that all of our prayers have kept that wonderful cat going :). Happy Birthday to Clayton and Fanny!! Funny how fast time seems to slip by lately. I am really glad to see that you are coming back to Chicago so that I can meet with you again. Not certain if you have a shelter picked out yet. I hope that you got my information on Harmony House for Cats. They are a wonderful no kill shelter that I try to help out as often as I can. They also just moved last year into a brand new "Platinum Green" building. I really think this would be a terrific place for you visit. Happy Valentine's Day to all of you. Looking forward to seeing you again.

  • Sharon E. Cathcart Thursday, 14 February 2013

    Our Lulu

    Hi, Gwen. First, thanks for the update. I'm glad to see that everyone, two- and four-footed alike, is feeling better at your house.

    You talking about how Clayton and Fanny filled some of the holes in your heart inspires me to share this story.

    In September 2009, we adopted a kitten named Gigi. She was a bottle-fed orphan and very tiny. She was kind of grumpy, but she was my special little girl. She had green eyes, brown and tan stripes, and a white chest that promised a fluffy white ruff when she grew up.

    Except that she never got to grow up. :-( Gigi had FIP, and she fell so ill that nothing more could be done for her. I was beside myself; I had never lost a baby pet before, and I kept wondering what I could have done differently (truthfully, the answer was "nothing," but it took me a long time to get there). My husband didn't want to be without a kitten, and he went to the local shelter (where I now volunteer) and brought home a little smokey-grey kitten named Lulu. I didn't feel ready, to tell you the truth, but Lulu attached herself to me like Velcro. She snuggled with me, purred loudly, and gave me kitten kisses just like Gigi had done ... and really, she helped me get through the worst of my mourning.

    Lulu will be four years old this year; sometimes it is amazing to me that she's been with us that long, because it seems like only yesterday. She brings me so much love and joy every day.

    Thank you for sharing Homer and all of the rest of your pets with us.

  • S Huang Thursday, 14 February 2013

    Happy birthday Fanny & Clayton!

    So sad that San Diego is not on the tour list... We are one of the most pet friendly cities in America.. Might just have to head up to LA instead... :) Glad to hear Homer is so well too!

  • Mimi Katz Thursday, 14 February 2013

    Happy Valentine's Day, Cooper-Lermans!

    So glad to hear that Homer is doing well! When you're too quiet, I get nervous. And, a very happy 1st birthday to THE KITTIES! (No longer kittens, but too goofy to be just "cats".) They are so cute! I completely understand your sentiments about how they filled, but didn't replace, a sad void left by your previous girls. Been there, too. Their love saves every day. Happy Valentine's Day, and I'll see you in Chicago. I might even bring Madame Phoebe, thought she really only likes going in the car on warm summer days, with the top down. Talk about a princess! :-)

  • Sharon Thursday, 14 February 2013

    Chloe has been my savior

    Chloe is also a rescue kitty and when I returned home from a surgery to remove tumors she did not want to leave my side. She kept trying to lay on my belly where my incision was and I know it was her way of trying to heal me. I am so grateful that she came into my life.

  • Lori Thursday, 14 February 2013

    Thanks so much for the update! I'm going to try to make that only Florida stop at the end of next month! I read Love Saves the Day on vacation last week and so enjoyed it--just a great read!! Cats have saved me many times. My first cat, Tux, was left in a box on my front porch--really! I took him in and we fell in love. When he died suddenly at 7 years old, I was so sad. Two weeks later, I was at the shelter, where two little ones stole my heart. I had wanted a female kitten, and these two were boys, so I started to pass by the cage. But one of them put his paw through the cage and latched onto my shirt. I was hooked--literally! Murphy and Malibu were the best! We lost Malibu 5 years ago, and my heart broke. I still miss him. Murphy was showing his age then too, and was fighting kidney disease. My partner didn't want the house to be empty when Murphy's day came, so she started thinking about getting another kitten. At a party we went to, there was a cage of kittens in need of adoption. One gray guy made it to my shoulder (how did THAT happen), and that was it! We thought he might pester old "Uncle Murphy," so we wondered about getting a second one--so they could pester each other instead! There in the cage was a tiger-stripe, climbing all over trying to get out. That was it...and Grayson and Ellie came into our lives. Murphy fooled us all by living another 4 years. We lost him last August, and I still cry occasionally when I think about that sweet boy. So I know what you mean about holes in your heart that get filled, but only somewhat. Thank you so much for connecting to the world of cat lovers and for all you do for cats in need of homes. All best to all of you!

  • Laurie Lalone Thursday, 14 February 2013


    Gwen, after the loss of my 2 boys Nick & Alex, 18 yr old brothers, less than a year apart, my heart was ripped from my body. My soul was crushed. This all on the tail of a devastating break up from my partner. I told all my friends "no more pets. I can't handle the pain of loss any more. On Facebook, I saw a post about a blind 2 yr old that had been found running in a very busy industrial area. A wonderful Miami based organization, Smitten with Kittens, rescued him. Just three weeks after losing Nick, 10pm at night, I emailed the adoption application for this blind guy. Less than 24 hrs later he was mine. Our first interaction was under a table he crawled under. I got on the floor and put my hand to him. He extended his paw and put it on top of mine. He then crawled out and let me hold him for an hour. I named him Gatsby, as in Jay Gatsby from F Scott’s "The Great Gatsby". He is charming and an elegant little man, just like Jay Gatsby. Gatsby was born without eyes. He doesn't realize that sight is an option in life. He has no limitations and navigated the house like a sighted cat. He is full of mischief and torments his sister Bee hourly. Most importantly, Gatsby taught me to love again when I thought I had nothing left. The second day I had Gatsby, I bought Homer's book. It was so enlightening to be assured I had not taken on more than I could handle. Thank you ♥. See you in Miami

  • June and Sienna Thursday, 14 February 2013

    You saved the day for me!

    I can't begin to tell you how much joy your message has brought me this morning. After the long (very understandable) silence, I feared that Homer was not doing well or worse.
    I am so relieved to hear that he is enjoying life, eating well, and continuing to share the special bond that he has with his family, especially his very special mom.
    Happy Birthday to the "kittens!" My Sienna is 12 1/2, she is and will remain my "kitten."
    Kittenhood is, after all, a state of mind!
    I'm glad that nasty flu is over so stay well and keep spreading the love to your readers and fellow cat lovers.

  • Emily Jankowski Thursday, 14 February 2013

    Sasha, Gibson & Spud

    I, too, have three black cats that are the loves of my life. Sasha (aka Poosha), will be 9 shortly and was diagnosed not even 2 weeks ago with feline diabetes. It's been a hard diagnosis for us. Now that he is feeling better through insulin & diet, he is getting feistier about getting said insulin. Gibson is an angel. He is sweet and gentle hearted. He looks a lot like Toothless from "How To Train Your Deagon" and says "bless you". Spud is about as smart as a potato, but super lovey and snuggly. That is, when he isn't stealing stuffed animals from the kids and carrying them, along with skeins of yarn, around the house. All three of these special boys have saved me with their love in some way. Poosha when I was going through a separation then divorce, Gibson every day since I adopted him - he just knows when I need a head butt - and Spud after the loss of my Dexter.

    We love you guys and hope you have a great day,

  • Lori Johnson Thursday, 14 February 2013

    A furry little Valentine

    I am not one who really celebrates or likes Valentine's Day. It brings up bad memories for me. This morning (Valentine's Day) when I opened my bedroom door, down on the floor was a red furry heart cat toy. I bought this rathere large heart shaped cat nip toy for my cats several days ago. They didn't pay any attention to it. One of them carried it down the hall and put it at my door. That was the best surprise I could have gotten. My cats love helped me like Valentine's Day a little bit better. (There's a picture of it on my FB page.)

  • Billy Sargent Thursday, 14 February 2013

    Happy Valentine's Day to all!

    Glad to hear y'all are feeling better. I look forward to seeing y'all in Austin, and I'd be happy to come help. Same for Dallas and Houston.
    Love is infinite, and however much you give there's plenty more where that came from. Nobody could replace Scarlett or Vashti, and certainly Clayton and Fannie receive the full measure of their very own love. We are always richer for every love we have, and were always said in a selfish way for the love we won't be able to share any more when they're gone. That's why finding new love is so wonderful; we rediscover the joy and remember those tender beginnings with those we lost.

  • Robyn Thursday, 14 February 2013

    How beautifully said (and I can even hear your Texas accent)! It puts loss in a very different perspective.

  • Bess Miller Thursday, 14 February 2013

    happy birthday and Valentine's day

    My orange tabby Nicky is 10 today! Love celebrating on this day bc didn't think I could get another after first cat Oscar died in Dec 03. Got Nicky more than month later. Four years later adopted his brother Eddie who will he 6 in April.
    Happy birthday kittens! Great news about you too Homer!!

  • Mary Ann Ray Thursday, 14 February 2013

    I'm saved every single day!

    Every day I am reminded of how lucky I am when I see my Rusty, Salem, Muffin, Pumpkin, Bully, Paikea and Dave. And before that, there were Tugboat, Simon, Jezabelle, Fritti Tailchaser, Gus, Moose and Audrey. There have been times in my life when I didn't have any close friends, but my cats were always been there for me: loving, non-judgmental, but -- most of all -- there.

  • Rhonda Thursday, 14 February 2013

    All of our fur daughters were/are rescues. On Valentine's Day I particularly remember my Lucy! We brought her home on Valentine's Day from the SPCA shelter here in Fort Wayne, In. A special day! She just kept kissing and kissing us! Thankful to be a part of our family. Thanks to all the shelters and the tireless work they do

  • Kimberly Thursday, 14 February 2013

    Homer - an inspiration

    Hi Gwen, We have exchanged emails and I wrote you about my heart cat Bailey. He is struggling with cardiomyopathy and has done so for 7 years now. He has had some rough patches lately and as you can imagine anything like that doesn't get better and the best you can do is fight it off as long as possible. I was given a 3 month diagnosis in September that devastated me - still does as I feel like we are on borrowed time but your story of Homer's defiance of the odds gives me hope that, like Homer, my boy will too outlive projections. Your update is great for me as I take my boy in for his ecco and bloodwork in two appts in the next two weeks and I am always a mess. I will carry Homer in my mind so that I can be strong for my boy. Blessings to you and the cats.

  • Loretta Robertson Thursday, 14 February 2013


    I'll be watching for Dallas to be added to your tour. Hope so!! So happy you are all returning to health, especially Homer.

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