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!



  • Joni Haggard Thursday, 14 February 2013

    Thank you for the very happy update, Gwen! It's wonderful to know that Homer continues to be well and that the flu has been chased from you home. Happy birthday to the CATS! :) :)

  • Sue Sylvester Thursday, 14 February 2013

    Happy Valentine's Day and Happy Birthday to the kitties ! Very happy to read that Homer is doing so well and that you are feeling better. Our four rescue kitties save me every day when I pet them, hear them purr, watch them play and snuggle with them. They are the best blood pressure medicine ever! Long ago when life was taking one awful turn after another for me, I had a wonderful dog named Dandy. He knew exactly the right time to come and sit by me when I was going into the despair mode of crying. His comfort really did save me and he was the best therapist in the world. He listened, he loved me and he knew the right moment to offer his comfort without being asked. All pets are therapy animals to their people. Give the kitties and Homer an extra hug from all of us.

  • Laurie Heupel Thursday, 14 February 2013

    Chester adopted us

    We came home on a warm June evening in 1998, when a black ball of fluff brushed up on Andy's leg. The little kitty was thin as a rail, and looked like he needed some food. Well that was almost 15 years when Chester adopted us. He came to us and we helped nurse him back to health and he has brought a joy to the house that is so special. At the time Chester adopted us we were living a commuter marriage and seeing each other on weekends only. Chester went to stay at Andy's house and would commute down to stay with me also at times. He provided a comfort and friendship to us. We finally were able to live in the same house and our buddy was there to help us adjust to being around each other 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Chester is really in charge of the house, we are just his staff. When I had my knee replacement he was my purr therapy as he would sit and sleep with me and just purr away and that helped with the pain management. Andy is down with the flu today and he is home and Chester was helping him get better with some purrs! He is simply the best furry family member we could ask for, a gentle soul with a sweet nature.

  • katherine harper Thursday, 14 February 2013

    Happy Valentine's Day!

    This past year, my dad died at 60 from a brief battle with kidney cancer. My 'kitten' Otis who turns 11 in a month was such a wonderful comfort during my dad's illness and my subsequent grief. And while Otis is wonderful in every way, I just felt I needed more love. And I was spending so much time away from home visiting my parents in Houston that I thought Otis might need more love. So... off to PAWS (Pets are Worth Saving) in Chicago (where I live and hope you visit!) I went. I knew I wanted an older, mellow boy as I was positive Otis would not want a frisky baby to contend with! I toured the older kitty room and the volunteer pointed out several loves and told me about them. Then, I happened to turn my head and see this big grey tabby stretched out on a big pillow poof. I asked the volunteer "what about that guy?! What can you tell me about him!?". I went to pet him and he was just a love... and so he came home with me. He might be 5 or 6... it's hard to know... he's quite portly at 16lbs and has ragged ears and some big scars on his neck and shoulder (which give him character!) but he is pretty much the way you describe Prudence in Love Saves the Day - big grey tabby, with white socks, black stripes, and big black stripe down the tail and a white chest. I named him Sam. It seemed to fit and he seemed to like it. Sam and Otis are such a pair - Otis plays more and they get along like brothers - playing together and sometimes annoying each other. I feel so lucky every day that Sam found me - he loves to crawl in to my lap and snuggle and he follows me everywhere. When he looks at me with his big green eyes I just melt. The boys are so goofy, so loving that they just make me so happy and have definitely been there for me through the tears and the sadness of losing my dad.

    I'd also like to say that I read Love Saves the Day and loved it. I also cried my eyes out for probably the last 100 pages! But I loved it.

    And finally, I am so glad that Homer is doing better!!

  • JULIE ENGLER Thursday, 14 February 2013

    Always Look Under the Mailbox!

    A few months ago, I was feeling so ill I could barely get out of bed. The pain in my abdomen and pelvis was horrific, and I could not find a doctor that could figure out what it was. Worse, that week-end I was alone, because my husband and daughter had gone to a rally in Chicago ( 3 hours away) and we have no family or friends in this buttoned-up city . Dragging myself downstairs to get some aloe juice, I decided I might as well get the mail . Through the glass pane of the front door I could see a small lump of fur under the mailbox attached to the side of the house. What on earth...? No mail, but in my hand was a tiny, miserable-looking kitty. She was all skin and bones. There was a huge gash on her lip/chin, and another in her neck. Her fur was dotted with small globs of some gooey substance that looked like tar. Well hello little one, I said, who are you and what are you doing here under my mailbox? She gave me a pathetic, heart-rending look that spoke louder than the loudest meow. I am in my 70's, and there I was walking down the driveway, in my PJ's, and barefoot to boot, all the time making cooing sounds to the scrap of fur in my hand. Here you go, baby girl, you rest here safely, I will get some things for you. An old blanket, a small dish of food, another one of water. Then I took a good look at those wounds. Pain or no pain, one hour later I was at the vet with my Mailbox Kitty. Her wounds - who knows what had caused them - were attended to. We also found out she could not walk right, something was wrong with her right rear hip and leg, possibly neurological damage. The vet suggested I keep her away from my other fur children, as a precaution. She would be fine in the screened porch. The weather was still warm, she had food, water, a blanket, and I had found a small old dish-pan that would serve as a sanitary facility. I made a bed for myself on the living room couch, so I could keep an eye on my guest . Having her there and attending to her needs helped me get through that day and through many days afterwards. My Mailbox Kitty now lives with my daughter, just a few blocks away, and with three other fur children, one of whom is The Cat Who Lived, but that's a story for another day. Her wounds took a long time to heal, but they finally did. Cleaning her fur was a chore, but it is now soft and shiny, and her muted calico colors are exquisite. She will always dance the Samba when she walks, so that is her name: Samba! Dancing through life, how bad could that be? She is a sweet, loving individual, and loves to be petted. Whoever left Samba under my mailbox that day did her a favor, yes, but they did me a favor as well: I had something to smile about, something I sorely needed because of the pain I was in. We eventually did find out what the pain was, and now I must learn to cope with and live with it... but I have my precious little Samba to dance for me, and make me smile.

  • Louise Pare-Lobinske Thursday, 14 February 2013

    Happy Valentine's Day, Gwen and family!

    We have four rescue cats. Edmund we found hanging by a claw on a garbage can at a local meat market as a kitten; Artie was saved from the hazards of a modern landfill, as was Frodo; and Charlie was given to us when my parents couldn't keep her any longer. They are our children and we love them all.

  • Robyn Thursday, 14 February 2013


    The cat had been abandoned in our garden and was meowing piteously. My upstairs neighbor had taken to put some food out for her and announced brightly, “She’ll be our outdoor cat and I think I’ll call her Samantha.”

    I am not a “cat person” but put an ad in the paper (naively thinking she still might be lost) and and I took one look at her long, luxurious coat a pastel tortie mix of tan and gray and thought, well it’s not going to take long before that becomes a giant mat.

    I guess you know the rest of the story. She indeed became “my cat” (as years later my upstairs neighbor admitted she hoped would happen) and we just adored each other.

    She was my cat when I was a bride. She was my cat when we bought our first house and when I stood weeping on the steps of my new apartment after my divorce. When I was so poor that I made sure she had food before I did. When I had money she flew to the East Coast with me.
    She was my constant in a whirl of changes.

    My decisions included her in the process. I worked in a veterinary hospital and didn’t have to worry about her healthcare. I chose my living situation so that she would benefit from a protected sunny place to go outside. She always had a cat door even if I had to buy a new door.

    And when she was old and sick and I couldn’t make her well again, I slept by her side on the floor next to her cat bed and we told each other goodbye that last night before I took her to that final trip to the vet. She was my life for 20 years. How can I even try to explain that to anyone?

  • Nathalie Thursday, 14 February 2013

    Happy Valentine/Happy birthday!

    Happy Valentine to all and happy birthday to Clayton and Fanny! They are really cute! I'm glad that Homer is going better, as he's en exceptional little cat (I just finished the book in French). I personally have a beautiful dark grey cat with yellow and almost turquoise eyes whom I took home because he was living outside by people who couldn't give him a family (already some cats at home!); I didn't want him to be outside...He arrived at 3 months and half and I wondered if I had inherited a little very wild panther, but now he's as sweet as a little candy and saves all of my days!

  • Anne Thursday, 14 February 2013

    Happy Valentine's Day

    My husband and I rescued our first kitty from a local humane society and her name was Maxie. Maxie was the best little black kitty that you could find and had so much love to give to all who came in contact with her. The thing that I miss most about my little Maxie is how she would always follow me around the house and look up at me with her meow and want to be picked up. She love to hug me and hang over my shoulder. I have other rescue kitties who are also lovers, but no one could ever make you feel as good as Maxie could when hugging and loving you. I love all of my kitties, but little Maxie will alway hold that very special place in my heart and I miss her every day. We all wish you and Homer and your two cute kitties a very happy Valentine's Day!

  • Pat Roller Thursday, 14 February 2013

    Love Saved the Day

    Love Saved the Day was a wonderful story. I laughed and cried and fell in love with Prudence. Now I think of what my cats are thinking when I talk to them or do things in my own life. I hope I am able to give them the love and support they need in their lives. My current cats, Dante, Beatrice and Bobbie have been with me for about 8 years and have been with me through illness, a divorce and move and are here when all others have long gone. They are loving and sense the times that I need them to sit quietly beside me as well as those fun times when we play. I would never have made it without any of them (or the myriad of cats that have come before!!) Thanks for sharing your lives with all of us.

  • Pam Montgomery Thursday, 14 February 2013

    Rescue Kitties Rule

    I lost my beloved Mischief after 19 years. He was a big old orange tabby that filled my heart with love. I went to the Humane Society and found two adorable homeless kitties who needed love. I only had them a few months and they both died of a rather rare disease. (My vet couldn't believe that both of them had it and they weren't even related.) I was truly devastated because I was recovering from double knee replacement and facing life without a job when our company was merged with another. I kept looking for that special kitty to fill the emptiness and I found Hemingway first. He was so adorable and just seemed so happy to be going to a forever home. A couple months later the Humane Society found Shakespeare for me. (By the way, the Humane Society worked very closely with me and helped me so much through the despair of losing both new kitties.) Now the two boys rule my heart and home. There's just something about the love of a fur person that can't be topped. I hope everyone can experience that at some point in their lives.

  • Diana Hamilton Thursday, 14 February 2013

    Diana Hamilton

    First of all, I'm so glad to hear how well Homer is doing and that you and Laurence are feeling better and of course, happy birthday to Clayton and Fanny!! I have two rescues (the boys, Rambo and Toby) that helped my heart heal when I lost the girls, Cagney and Lacey. I rescued them both at different times but they became buddies very quickly and look out for each other. They are both solid black and your babies resemble them so much! I can't imagine a day without their silly little antics and the unconditional love they give me. I just screened in my front porch so that they can have another outdoor room in addition to the already screened back porch!! The love they give is worth another porch if I can figure out where to put it!!! LOL :-) :-)

  • Renee Unger Thursday, 14 February 2013


    I have always had cats in my life and grew up with no family. They have been the backbone to help me through so much pain. Life is so hard sometimes to juggle and just try and get through crazy days. Knowing my babies are home waiting for me to get there, there love is all that I need. I'm so GLAD to hear that Homer is still fighting and that his "SPUNK" is back. Luved the new book. Please keep writing:)

  • Janiss Thursday, 14 February 2013

    I'm so happy to hear that Homer is doing great! And I am THRILLED that you're coming to Los Angeles!!

  • Gisele Thursday, 14 February 2013

    "What greater gift than the love of a cat?" - Charles Dickens

    I wondered at the quietness and suspected the Cooper-Lerman household was still in the flu zone! Wonderful news about Homer (still mucho gatto!), and happy birthday to Clayton and Fanny: you are such a fortunate family.

    When my diva-girl tuxedo cat Roxy suddenly succumbed to kidney failure 5 years ago, I swore I wouldn't get another cat, the pain of loss was so profound (she was the sort of cat who every night when I settled on the couch to read, settled under my arm). A wise friend waited a month or so, then introduced me to Newt, who was in need of a home and who, upon meeting, jumped up for a headrub. I can bring him over tonight, she said. He has blessed my household for every day of those five years and frankly, I was drawn to the book jacket of Homer's Odyssey because my first thought was, a black cat! like Newt! (I am a charter member of the Black Cats Fan Club if such a thing exists! and it should.)

    I don't think I could have endured the deeply profound loss of late last summer, the death of my mother, without Newt. Today would have been her 86th birthday.

    I am delighted to see your tour will take you to Seattle and possibly Portland: so close to Vancouver!

  • Amy S Thursday, 14 February 2013

    thank you!

    wow, i am loving all the amazing stories people are sharing in these comments!! so inspiring and purrr-fect for Valentine's Day! I have been lucky enough to share my home with a bunch of wonderful kitties but I have to mention my Banjo. After reading about Homer's beautiful story, I found myself open to the idea of adopting a blind cat. Months later, I met my Banjo who was a tiny tabby kitten that lost his eyesight due to a very bad URI. Thanks to Homer, I had no doubts at all about bringing this little guy home and he is the LOVE of my life. My husband was joking about competing with Banjo to be my valentine today because he is so incredibly affectionate to me. I wonder how many blind kitties have been saved by Gwen and Homer, i bet the number would be surprisingly high! happy valentines day to all!

  • Earline Thompson Thursday, 14 February 2013

    Did she really say that???

    Did Gwen, that New York City gal, really say y'all? Love it. Wonderful news about Homer-Bear, and happy birthday to the kittens.

  • Vickie S. Thursday, 14 February 2013

    Thank you, Gwen!

    So glad to hear that everyone in the Cooper-Lerman family is ok now. I too was afraid bad news was about to come down the pike about Homer. God bless him he is so inspiring, it makes me tear up just to think of him. Depending on the time of day you'll be in Miami I'll try to take time off from work up here in Ft. Lauderdale on March 28th, but it won't be easy. Hopefully you'll post a time frame. My dear departed tuxedo cat Figaro saved the day for me many times. When my husband was so ill with cancer and nearing the end of his life, Figaro became even more of a comforting cuddler than he already was. He was sleeping with my husband on the hospital bed in the family room when he died. It was a beautiful sight. Figaro lived on for 10 years after that, and he was the last connection I had to my husband. Our feline creatures defy explanation over and over again, in the most amazing ways. And why try to explain any of it!! We are blessed.

  • andi Thursday, 14 February 2013

    glad for the update!

    so glad you're feeling better! This flu bug has been the worst ever! Happy birthday to the kittens! My 4-legged kids along with my feral and foster cats make my life complete. I can't imagine living w/o them!

  • Kumo Friday, 15 February 2013

    Hurray Homer! Happy Birthday Fannie and Clayton! Who....?

    Who licks my face even when I look like yesterday's hairball?
    Who crawls under the blankets and purrs in my ear at 4AM?
    Who cleans my dinner plate better than the dishwasher?
    Who makes me giggle when I'm grumpy?
    Who finds my lap irresistible?
    Whose trust keeps me trustworthy and tenderhearted?
    What an honor to live with cats!

    Hurray for the healthy, happy Homer and the birthday twins: Clayton and Fannie!
    A belated Valentine to all the Cooper-Lermans.
    Warmest wishes,

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