Jackson Galaxy “Cat Daddy” (Book Review)

Brigitta (r) and Holly Golightly (l)

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.

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  • Dorothy Abernathy

    I also really enjoyed Jackson Galexy’s book. I learn a great deal about cats. Including the. Fact that my Hitch was spraying due to the limbo kitties outside. So while I might look like a nut washing the outside of my house, my former stray hitchhiker no longer marks his territory inside the house. Besides learning about cats, Cat Daddy is a good read. I doubt that I could write such a honest book. I also encourage watching Jackson Galexy’s My Cat From Hell. The hardest part is getting past the introduction to the guardians. I hate being judgmental, but you’d think these people would do some research, book or online, if their cat is causing such problems. Unlike me, Mr. Galaxy is kind and understanding to both the humans and the felines alike. Sorry if I’ve gushed about Jackson Galexy’s work. I am just so happy to see a show about cats. They don’t get the attention they they deserve.

  • I loved Jackson’s book too – I think he is part cat! And it is awesome how he realized that a kitty can help with life’s lessons… if you are wise enough.

  • Hi Birgitta, thanks for the review and your cats are adorable! Books and TV shows which foster awareness about cats and their well being are all good. I was one of the first bloggers to interview Jackson before the show aired, plus reviewed and done several book giveaways since then at Cat Wisdom 101. Jackson’s popularity has helped fellow cat behaviorists pave the way to a deeper understanding of cats.

  • jmuhj

    I haven’t had the privilege of reading CAT DADDY yet, but I’m an ardent admirer of “MY CAT FROM HELL” and wouldn’t miss an episode of this insightful, funny, and moving series about cats and their often clueless caregivers, helped by a uniquely perceptive and caring Jackson Galaxy. Benny saved his life — and the pay-it-forward continues to help cats and people everywhere. I call that a miracle.

  • I haven’t read his book but I joke about him a lot in a light-hearted kind of way. I think it’s great that there is someone out there seeking to showcase the personalities and needs of cats. So many people think they can’t be trained and are just there to be looked at. His show proves how unique each cat is and how important it is to treat them as members of the family. I will definitely be looking for his book now!

  • Texas, a Cat in New York

    Great review! Thanks =^.^=