Cat behaviorist and star of Animal Planet's hit television show My Cat from Hell, Jackson Galaxy, a.k.a. “Cat Daddy,” isn't what you might expect for a cat expert (as the New York Times noted, with his goatee and tattoos he “looks like a Hell's Angel”). Yet Galaxy's ability to connect with even the most troubled felines-not to mention the stressed-out humans living in their wake-is awe-inspiring. In this book, Galaxy tells the poignant story of his 13-year relationship with a petite gray-and-white short-haired cat named Benny, and gives singular advice for living with, caring for, and loving the feline in your home. When Benny arrived in his life, Galaxy was a down-and-out rock musician with not too much more going on than a part-time job at an animal shelter and a drug problem. Benny's previous owner brought the cat to the shelter in a cardboard box to give him up. Benny had seen better days-his pelvis had just been shattered by the wheels of a car-and his owner insisted he'd been “unbondable” from day one. Nothing could have been further from the truth.
An inspiring account of two broken beings who fixed each other, Cat Daddy is laced throughout with Galaxy's amazing “Cat Whisperer” advice for understanding what cats need most from us in order to live happier, healthier lives.
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Okay, I admit it: I can’t get enough of Jackson Galaxy. This is one of those rare books I will listen to over again. He writes and reads this memoir straight from the heart and no other narrator could have done justice to his words. Jackson’s memoir recounts his beginnings and growth as a cat behaviorist while battling his many addictions. His story is humble, straightforward, and never wallows in self-pity. Here is a man who came face to face with the bottom, over and over again, and pulled himself out of it. While he was doing so, he discovered and nurtured his calling to help troubled cats and their guardians. His cat Benny was with him all the way, not only teaching him but becoming that rare animal with whom he established a lasting bond. I can relate: I had a cat who saw me through my “get my ‘stuff’ together” years and I, in turn, nursed him through several life-threatening illnesses. That cat will have a special place in my heart until I die. Even if you’ve never experienced that kind of relationship with an animal, you’ll appreciate this book, and even more so if you have.
Absolutely loved this book
Jackson Galaxy is of course a cat behaviorist and the star of the reality show My Cat from Hell which I really like. I LOVED this book. In fairness I don’t know if I would have felt quite the same if I just read it, because Galaxy narrates his own book and his performance is truly awesome. Ill risk sounding like a cheesy movie critic by admitting that, it both made me cry and laugh aloud. It follows a small part of Jackson’s life rather than the whole thing. It starts when he was an adult, living on his own, playing in a band, doing lame jobs and lots of drugs, and ending when he is making his living as a cat behaviorist but before his TV show and fame. Before the book, I had seen and enjoyed the show but I knew nothing about Jackson’s background. I just knew I believed the stuff he said about cats on TV and thought he seemed pretty cool.
I was amazed at what a loser he actually was at the start of the book (no offense Jackson! I'm a fan!). I also find memoirs of drug abusers amazing in that the sheer quantity of drugs someone can do without dying, and how he actually functioned in society during this crazy period. He always struck me as pretty intense on the show but I had no idea. It’s hard to explain really. He goes through drug addiction and recovery, food addiction and gastric bypass surgery and all sorts of animal related drama. His devotion to animals is powerful. He lives on a totally different plane of existence than I do. But I just wanted to listen to the whole book in one shot. I just thought it was great. It was weird really that all this happens in a small enough number of years that Jackson still has one of the cats who lived with him at the start of the book. Not the cat mentioned in the title, the book covers that cat’s life and death. But another cat. Jackson’s ability to be intense and yet be able to not take himself too seriously really helps make the book enjoyable – at least the audio version. 5 stars.
- Karen K