Cat Daddy by Jackson Galaxy with Joel Derfner

Cat Daddyc.2012, Tarcher / Penguin                   $24.95 / $26.50 Canada                      285 pages

Your cat is making you crazy.

He used to be such a good kitty. He used to cuddle and come when he was called. He was such a happy cat but lately, he runs when you reach for him and he bites, which he never did before. What’s worse: he’s started avoiding the litter box in favor of your closet.

You’ve had him since he was a kitten, but you can’t take it anymore.

Author Jackson Galaxy says that there’s a way to stop Fluffy’s madness. In his new book “Cat Daddy” (with Joel Derfner), you’ll find out how Galaxy learned to think like a cat.

For a lot of his early adulthood, Jackson Galaxy was in crisis.

He drank too much, ate too much, and did too many drugs. “Eggshell-like” and prone to anger, he hardly dared to dream about much more than his wish for life as a songwriter and guitarist, a career he thought he’d get by fleeing New York for Colorado.

In Boulder, he quickly found fellow musicians but he didn’t find the fulfillment he sought or the paycheck he needed. Finally, underemployed and overwhelmed, he learned of an opening at the local animal shelter. Maybe, he figured, it was time for a job with altruism, and animals were non-judgmental.

To his surprise, he was good at this work, and he had a knack for cats in particular.

And then he met Benny.

With a freckle on his nose and an air of bemusement, Benny was certainly a unique kitty but his former owner listed his problems. He wouldn’t bond, hated to play, and he didn’t “like” her. She didn’t like him, either.

Oh, and Benny had been hit by a car. His pelvis was shattered so, unable to pay the vet bills, she surrendered Benny to Galaxy, who promptly recognized a kindred broken spirit. He took the cat in and became Benny’s guardian.

Adding another cat to an already overloaded life didn’t seem like a smart move, but Galaxy was determined to do it.

Just like he overcame his addictions.

Just like he overcame his erroneous ideas about cats.

Just like he overcame his pain to learn about life, from the best mentor he ever had…

Readers who pick up “Cat Daddy” may think they’re getting a kitty how-to, and they’d be half right. Author Jackson Galaxy (with Joel Derfner) does offer useful advice on learning to see things from a cat’s POV, but that’s not all this book’s about.

With more than just a little in-your-face-ness and some adults-only profanity, Galaxy lays bare his life: his addictions, depression, and struggles, failed relationships and tentative romances. He writes chillingly of work at an animal shelter and what the job entails, then he celebrates his stewardship of a change-hating, crotchety cat that never stopped teaching.

Surprisingly, I think this book will appeal to dog lovers who can appreciate a wryly-told story, as well as to feline fanciers who crave being kitty-cornered. If that’s you, then “Cat Daddy” is a book to pounce on.

Disclaimer: The views expressed on this weblog are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of PBG Lifestyle Magazine.

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