Today’s post is a review of Jackson Galaxy’s Book “Cat Daddy,“ by I HAVE CAT fan Brigitta Arden.
Brigitta led a cat-less existence until she met her now-husband Grec who, “had a cat and that changed everything.” Now she says she “Can’t imagine living without them (cats). They fascinate me, they teach me, they comfort and inspire me.” Her current cat family consists of a Sammy Davis Jr, a black and white tuxedo and former stray, and Holly Golightly, a Norwegian Forest Cat mix who was adopted from a shelter.
Cats, Life, Love, and Learning – Brigitta Arden
I must confess, I didn’t know much about Jackson Galaxy before I dove into his book Cat Daddy. I had heard about his show My Cat from Hell, but hadn’t seen it yet (living in the off-cable television world for a while).
I was introduced to him and his show first through the feline blog-world. It sounded interesting, a guy who “understands” cats and who continues to learn their language. Fascinating.
Then, serendipitously, I won the book from this wonderful cat blog (thanks Tamar!). I really didn’t know what to expect. At first thought, I was wondering if they tried to squeeze out a book from a popular TV show.
I started reading, and was hooked after the first couple of pages, hooked by the good, compelling writing; hooked by Jackson’s honesty, openness, and courage to tell the tale of his emotional and human growth, thanks to cats and his willingness to listen to them, in particular to his commitment to not give up on Benny, in his own words “the world’s most incorrigible cat.”
The day Benny entered into Jackson’s life was the seminal point of Jackson’s recovery from a life of drug-abuse and the beginning of a journey of learning about himself.
Benny’s psychological and physical problems slowly forced, or maybe persuaded, Jackson to abandon his routine escape into mind- and emotion-numbing substances and behaviors. Jackson saw his own struggles reflected in those that afflicted Benny, who was labeled “unbondable” by his first owner.
Taking on Benny’s guardianship became the starting point of Jackson emotional growth, of opening up to the feelings of love and empathy, as well as pain and loss, or what he calls learning “to surrender to the universe.” Jackson’s candidness about his struggles and at times painful learning process is inspirational, unpretentious, and therapeutic.
Jackson promised Benny in his final minutes that he would tell his story. He fulfilled that promise with this book, a book about cats, life, love and learning.