Cat Daddy: What the World's Most Incorrigible Cat Taught Me About Life, Love, and Coming Clean

( 62 )

Overview


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 thirteen-year relationship with a petite gray-and-white ...
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Cat Daddy: What the World's Most Incorrigible Cat Taught Me About Life, Love, and Coming Clean

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Overview


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 thirteen-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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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is an inspiring story, filled with all the title claims, useful information for the cat owner, and ardent and passionate pleas for spaying and neutering education and animal adoption. Galaxy gives a high-energy narration that fits the mad-cap world of an addict turned cat whisperer." —-SoundCommentary Starred Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399163807
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 5/2/2013
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 85,123
  • Product dimensions: 5.74 (w) x 8.04 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Meet the Author


Joel Derfner is a composer and writer living in New York City. He is the author of Gay Haiku and Swish: My Quest to Become the Gayest Person Ever and What Ended Up Happening Instead. Jackson Galaxy has been called everything from a cat trainer to a cat shrink. He is the host of Animal Planet's My Cat from Hell, and he maintains a private consulting practice in Los Angeles.

Jackson Galaxy has been called everything from a cat trainer to a cat shrink. He is the host of Animal Planet's My Cat from Hell, and he maintains a private consulting practice in Los Angeles.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 62 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(43)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 62 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 10, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    An extraordinary and inspirational memoir

    This book is no ordinary cat memoir, nor is it an ordinary cat advice book. It is an inspirational tour de force that offers an intimate glimpse at Jackson, the man, and Jackson, the Cat Daddy. This is one of the most unconventional memoirs I’ve ever read, but then, I didn’t expect anything less from Jackson. Jackson Galaxy defies convention. Bald, bearded and tattooed, he’s anything but what you would imagine a cat behaviorist to look like, let alone one who has an almost uncanny ability to connect with cats in ways that few others can. Rock musician? Maybe. Biker dude? Possibly. But cat guy? No way. Cat Daddy chronicles Jackson’s journey from down-and-out drug-addicted musician to cat behaviorist of last resort to countless cats, from his early work with cats at an animal shelter in Boulder to his own successful behavior consulting practice. But the real star of this book is Benny, a small grey and white cat who was brought to the shelter where Jackson had begun to build a reputation as a “cat whisperer.” Benny had been hit by a car and had a broken pelvis, his owner couldn’t afford the vet bills, and she also “just didn’t like him.” Benny was only supposed to be a foster cat, but as Jackson watched Benny’s remarkable recovery from his physical injuries, something shifted for Jackson. He began to feel a kinship with this broken cat, and realized that “Benny wasn’t my foster cat anymore. He was my family.” That moment may have saved not only Benny’s life, but Jackson’s as well. And this was only the first of many lessons Benny would teach Jackson about not being in control of the universe. By the time Benny arrived, Jackson’s life was spiraling out of control at an alarming rate. As Jackson began to work with this emotionally damaged cat, Benny did what noone else in Jackson’s life had been able to do: he forced Jackson to begin to peel away the layers of denial, and helped him discover his true physical, spiritual and emotional self beneath his multiple addictions. The book is interspersed with plenty of Jackson’s Cat Mojo 101. All of Jackson’s advice takes the cat’s perspective into account, and comes from the premise that once you understand why something makes sense to a cat and respond from that same place, you will see changes in the cat’s behavior. Jackson’s writing style is emotionally raw, candid, and sometimes shocking in its honesty. The one constant throughout his story, even during his darkest days of battling his own personal demons, is his connection with cats in general, and with Benny in particular. In true cat like fashion, Benny taught Jackson about living in the moment, about surrendering control, and ultimately, about love. The cats of the world, and those of us who love them, owe a debt of gratitude to Benny for saving Jackson’s life and for being his teacher – and to Jackson, for the courage to share his story with the world, and for honoring Benny’s legacy each and every day through his work.

    34 out of 34 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 14, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I worked in a Veterinary clinic for years. At one point, we had

    I worked in a Veterinary clinic for years. At one point, we had an office connected to the
    local shelter. I once walked past "death row" and a cat reached out and touched my head. I
    didn't look .... I just went back to the desk and said that cat.. and pointed. Put that cat
    in our hospital, and test for fiv/felv. I never did look, just in case. I was working in the
    other office and had been there for a meeting.

    They called and said negative. I asked if it was male or female.. ( I had still never clapped
    eyes on this cat.) Male. But he has.. and then there was a long list of things and they suggested
    I let him go. I refused, said make him healthy, neuter him and call me when he is there. It only
    took a week or so, and after work one day I went to puck up kitty #5 for our house... and named
    him Fergus. He was a bedraggled looking part Maine Coon, part everything else. Twelve years later
    he had a stroke, and after trying everything from doctors to prayers to holistic remedies to acupuncture
    to...well, everything. Hand feeding him and begging him to get better, He looked at me and asked me to let
    him go. That was the same year I lost his two twenty year old companions, that I had adopted as 8 week old
    kittens. Before long I was down to one cat, the only one to come after Fergus, as she was a young cat and
    healthy. ( Despite having been mashed in a car fan belt before her owner wanted her to be put down. ) I
    begged her off of the owner and the vet I was working for .. an angel .. patched her up. I am back up to
    4 cats. It happens.. cats need homes. They live with us and our special needs ( Addison's Disease) dog. His
    name is Duncan. All rescues. All of them, and us too. They save us as much as we save them.

    I adore Jackson Galaxy. I read his book with tears in my eyes and an ache in my heart. And fear for the losses
    I face in the future. He gets it. He understands. We furkid folks know, though...it is all worth it. It is worth
    every tear. This book lays bare the soul of a good man, who now does good things, in a good way. Thanks for
    being a saver, Jackson. There are lots of us out there... you go one step beyond, and save not only yours,
    but others as well. I agree with most of the things you say, most especially the DO NOT DECLAW opinion. It
    makes my ill that it is still okay, and still so easily accepted by so many. I hate it.

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 15, 2012

    Just and OK book when it comes to dealing with behaviourly chall

    Just and OK book when it comes to dealing with behaviourly challenged cats. I was hoping it would be more like his show on Animal Planet, 'My Cat From Hell", where he focuses solely on the cat and it issues. In this book, Jackson focus more on his life struggle from being a addict to becoming free from drugs and alcohol. He talks about his cats and their issues and other cats he had worked with but I wanted more about the cats and less about him. Also, I need to mention the fact that he uses very strong language in this book which was a turn off for me. He could of easily gotten his point across with out all the fowl language. I mostly liked the content of the book but did not care for the words he used. Unfortunately, I would not recommend this book for teenagers or younger children.

    7 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 24, 2012

    Loved it! Much better than I expected.

    I loved this book. Thanks to Jackson Galaxy for sharing his life experiences and successes. I like knowing more about him. This book was surprisingly well written. It was refreshingly honest without over disclosing regarding addictive disease, isolation, anxiety problems and recovery. This book should be listed in the B&N section about Addiction and Recovery also. Issues related to pet overpopulation and humane treatment of animals and helpful examples of how Mr. Galaxy handled specific cat behavior problems were also interesting and useful. Mr. Galaxy has a wonderful sense of humor. I hope he decides to write another book. I bet he has some funny client stories. I really like "My Cat From Hell" and will enjoy it even more this season since I know more background.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 18, 2012

    Love his show, found Jackson's story very intimate and personal

    This is not necessarily a great work of literature. But I love the Animal Planet show, "My Cat From Hell" and wondered how a guy like Jackson Galaxy got into the business of helping out cats and their owners. What I discovered in the book was actually two stories - one was the story of Jackson's cat Benny. The other story was actually the life story of Jackson, and his struggles with drugs, alcohol, and depression. It was perhaps his unique connection with animals and in particular Benny that help Jackson find his way to sobriety, and find his true calling in life as he climbed his way out of the depths. I found it heartbreaking to read about Jackson's struggles and unhappiness. It's also encouraging to see that he's come out the other side of a very dark time.

    Information about how to deal with problem dog behavior is pretty common but most people write cats off as aloof and independent. And I'd guess most problem cats don't live long once they become problematic. Jackson's ability to connect with cats and to help their humans connect with their cats has saved at least some cats lives. While this book is not a cat problem solution book (I never expected it to be), there are tips from Jackson in each chapter about cats and how to relate to them.

    I learned about the person that Jackson was and has become, and found hope in the how he found healing for himself in his desire to help and heal Benny.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 16, 2012

    Like most animal memoirs, this was less about the animal and mor

    Like most animal memoirs, this was less about the animal and more an autobiography of Jackson's life. Unlike most animal memoirs, the autobiography actually ties in to the cats life. You need to know the story behind the man to appreciate exactly how Benny taught him to get clean and put him on his current life path, and when he talks about Benny it isn't just a random paragraph of "and he did this"- it is two or three pages reflecting on how the cat knew more than he did, and he just didn't listen. As the mother of 7 cats, I recommend this to fellow cat lovers who want a good story. If you're looking for a book on cat behavior, this has great tips, but isn't quite what you are looking for. I'm hoping maybe Jackson will publish another book on more cat stories and behavior, because his unconventional style is very fun to read.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2012

    Wonderful down to earth story

    Jackson Galaxy's brutally honest tale of how his rescue cat and he saved each other brought tears to my eyes and some resolution of the 17 year relationship and recent passing of my own beloved cat.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2012

    Brutal and gentle

    Is his story and his insights. I enjoyed this more than I thought I was going to. An excellent read. Would write more, but my own little gray girl is gently patting my arm with her paw reminding me its time for her dinner.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2012

    Interesting Read

    I enjoy Jackson's My Cat from Hell television show. I learned many new tricks to try with my own cat. When I saw he was coming out with a book, I was very excited. It was a nice read, informative, and makes you think about your life and your cat's life as well. I learned some new things to do, and I love the different causes he supports. He tells it how it is and I would recommend reading this book if you enjoy his show or want to learn more about your relationship with you cat.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2012

    Dear Mr. Galaxy,

    Yesterday, I saw your show on 'Animal Planet'. I loved how you calmed Penny Lane down! Did you ever find out why she was so mean to Lizzy? I hope I get to see a lot more of your shows!
    Sincerely,
    Gwenevere Whichard, age 11

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2013

    First of all, this is not a book about cat behavior so if you're

    First of all, this is not a book about cat behavior so if you're purchasing it to get some tips on how to wrangle your wild kitty then this not the book you're looking for.
    This book is an autobiography of Jackson's life.  You learn about him going from being a homeless drug addict trying to make it in the music business to taking aj
    job at a local humane society.  You follow him as he tells you how he observed different cats behavior and how fostering a little crazy kitty named Benny changed his
    life for the better.  
    If you are a true Jackson Galaxy fan and you love the show My Cat From Hell and you're wanting to learn more about Jackson the man, then this is the book for you.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2012

    Great Book

    What a great book. You would never know by looking at Jackson Galaxy with all his tattoo's and a shaved head that he is a cat whisperer. I luved the book. It was great to see this guy turn around his life.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 20, 2012

    If you love cats read

    hard to read emotionally but really learned alot about taking care of my cats thank you

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 16, 2012

    Very depressing account of Jackson's life. Much more than I wan

    Very depressing account of Jackson's life. Much more than I wanted to know ( Drugs, sex, language). I watch "The Cat From Hell" series and that is why I bought the book. Not much about cats here, all about him (Jackson). Was sad at the end about his cat Benny.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2012

    Jackson from hell

    Other reviewers said the same thing-way too much about this bright and sensitive man,not enough about his amazing insights about crazy cats . Maybe next book..personally, i hated this one.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 9, 2012

    Somewhat recommend

    A little good cat advice, but too much about him and his life and not enough about the supposed subjects of the book - cats.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2012

    .

    More about 12 stepping than cat behavior.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 16, 2012

    CAT DADDY PURRFECT!

    Jackson Galaxy has written a book that every cat lover must read. This book filled with amazing advice for understanding cat behaviors and what cats need to live happier and healthy lives with their humans. The interaction between Jackson and his cat Benny will bring tears to your eyes.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    I love Jackson Galaxy's show, and I love this book. The man jus

    I love Jackson Galaxy's show, and I love this book. The man just has tremendous insight into cat behavior, and human behavior. I couldn't put this down this intimate and painfully honest story. I knew I would love it, and I did. I think Jackson Galaxy makes the world a better place.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 11, 2013

    Much more than the title implies

    I watch "My Cat From Hell" and saw Jackson speak on his book tour, but was still surprised and pleased with all the insight he had into cat behavior and his own addictions. What a brilliant, touching book that will appeal to almost anyone, but especially those of us who want to understand and love our cats.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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