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.
©2012 Jackson Galaxy (P)2012 Tantor
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.
This was totally inspiring and uplifting in it's straightforward "this is what it is" fashion. Although I originally expected a preachy kitty centric book, this was a good character development book that covered the gamut from psychology to philosophy with a core of love from unexpected sources thrown in. I have had some parallel experiences and recognized both the angst and the courage it takes to push through and go beyond to a place not imaginable before. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and will keep it in my library for another read.
His aha moment with Benny
There was never a boring moment.
My emotions were all over the place.
I have never listened to a book that was so entertaining.
Jackson Galaxy has written one of the most passionate and moving accounts that I have read in a very long time. His ability to connect his life lessons with the lessons he learned with the help of his cats, gave the story something extra. I so appreciated his willingness to share his journey so honestly.
Galaxy did a superb job of narrating the story, as well. I could feel his love for those animals. I didn't want it to end but it ended perfectly. There aren't many audiobooks that hold my attention as did this one.
Jackson Galaxy starts out as a guy who is only in it for himself, but over time, and with the help of a feline, finds himself humbled enough to get clean and sober.
It was a heartfelt story and was very well narrated. Best narrator on a book I've listened to so far. He needs to narrate professionally as he is so easy to listen too.
The loss of his kitty. Been there and understood how he felt.
This was so well written I couldn't Not Listen.
One-time Army Paramedic trades life of lust and danger for safer, sedentary, pursuits like knitting, reading and cats.
I’m a cat lady and am familiar with Jackson Galaxy. I’m not convinced he accomplished his intent in showing the redemptive connection between his process of becoming clean and how the cat(s) help bring that about. I believe Mr. Galaxy cares deeply about cats, but the story makes them seem more like props to a life he just kinda fell into rather than a calling.
I’m not opposed to profane language (so-called) but it was gratuitous at best, a performance.
I don’t think anyone could read the book and not be touched by his interaction with animals, especially the euthanizing, but didn’t find his personal story compelling.
Nothing, just didn't find it all that great a read.
He read his book well.
No on both counts.
Loved the honesty of feelings. He dug deep to recall hitting bottom and rising out of the ashes to be a savior for many cats and their owners.
It's his story and therefore FEELS it!
Benny's legacy to the feline species!
Jackson Galaxy's journey from the depths of addiction to success as a cat behaviorist is inspiring. He draws parallels of his struggle to find emotional peace with the story of the love/hate relationship he has with his cat, Benny, but this is really Jackson's story - his journey, his redemption and, ultimately, his triumph. I don't think you need to have a cat or even love cats to find a deep empathy for Jackson. His struggles are our struggles, his foibles are our foibles. Because of this, his reading rings especially true. He is in the room with us, telling his story in all its beauty and ugliness. No one else could have told it with such a passion and truth that made me smile, laugh and cry.
Jackson's unflinching story
I had no idea what rough shape (physically and mentally) he was in and give him (and Benny!) a lot of credit for making the choice to change his life.
I liked how Jackson described Benny as a "Jackie Gleason-like" busdriver
The ending was heart-wrenching and poignant
I was (happily) surprised that there were fewer cats stories in this book. It's primarily about Jackson's journey from a lonely, isolated life to a redemptive one. His narration is EXCELLENT and the primary reason I bought (and recommend) this book.
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