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

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


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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 Hells 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 Mojo" advice for understanding what cats need most from us humans in order to live happier, healthier lives.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399163807
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/02/2013
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 152,058
Product dimensions: 5.74(w) x 8.04(h) x 0.86(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Jackson Galaxy has been called everything from a cat trainer to a cat shrink. Drawing on his years of experience in animal shelters and as a consultant working one-on-one with thousands of cats in their homes, his unique "Cat Mojo" approach offers people a deeper understanding of why their cats act out in the ways they do. Galaxy maintains a private consulting practice in Los Angeles.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Galaxy’s candor earns the reader’s trust…he seamlessly weaves his relationship with Benny into the larger story of his life and recovery, which will appeal to a readership beyond cat lovers.” —Publishers Weekly

“Mr. Galaxy—shaved head, arms full of tattoos—seems physically at odds with his gentle voice and gentle approach to animals.... But though he may be dealing with humans who have been terrorized and even bloodied by their out-of-control pets, he’s a model of consistency. The cats, not the people, are his No. 1 priority.” —The New York Times
“Galaxy is not your average animal behaviorist. He speaks Cat. And cats listen. He works miracles in saving death-row cats in shelters by helping them get over their fears and increase their self-esteem, and coaching them to ‘work it’ with potential adopters.” —

"There’s an undeniable authenticity that comes through in Cat Daddy; its confessional nature and raw, often lyrical, prose are sure to resonate with a broad audience."—Modern Cat
“He’s the kind of magic man who can lull a shelter’s roomful of ferocious felines to sleep.” —Yahoo!
“Each of us sheds light on our subject from our own particular point of view. Fortunately for us all Jackson Galaxy’s light is very bright. His success at resolving behavioral difficulties in cats stems from his ability to slide his mind into the cat’s point of view and proceed from there. His insights into both human and cat behavior are right on.” —Anitra Frazier, author of The Natural Cat
“A joy.... Sometimes the biggest stories are actually the smallest ones—one man, one cat, and a quiet love that was large enough to save them both.” —Gwen Cooper, New York Times bestselling author of Homer's Odyssey and Love Saves the Day
“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.” —Ingrid King, award-winning author of Buckley’s Story: Lessons from a Feline Master Teacher

“The book will take you on a roller coaster of emotions — anger, frustration, sadness, joy — and will teach you a lot about cats along the way…. [Cat Daddy] contains stories of love, healing and the intense joy that comes with finding your higher purpose. It is a must-read for animal lovers, rescue workers, lost souls and anyone who has been touched by a cat in their life.” —

“With his goatee and tattoos, not to mention his custom-lined guitar-case-turned-pet-supply-kit, Galaxy might not seem like a typical ‘cat person’ — but who better than a New Yorker inked with images of cats and his own set of whiskers to mediate between a fussy feline and its guardian?” —New York Post
“At first glance, Jackson Galaxy is the quintessential, bearded, tattooed L.A. hipster musician type with a laid back tone and a mellow voice; but scratch the surface and you’ll find a 45-year-old, Jewish New Yorker who happens to love and understand cats like no other.” —Layla Morgan Wilde, The Boomer Muse blog

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Cat Daddy: How One Very Special Cat Fixed One Very Broken Man 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 70 reviews.
IngridKing More than 1 year ago
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.
-Bev- More than 1 year ago
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.
mn_me More than 1 year ago
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.
mckait More than 1 year ago
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, 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.
catnut5 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Shauna More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
To all the people griping that this is about Jackson and doesn't have enough cat advice: did you happen to read the description before you bought the book?  Seems pretty clear that it's a memoir.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
crazygranny2 More than 1 year ago
hard to read emotionally but really learned alot about taking care of my cats thank you
rackbar More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I want to read your book...maybe I could be inspired to change my broken life too! I am in a relationship with my chiwowwah, who is half pit happened. one of the five chiwowahs was fathered by my neighbors pit bull...a beautiful razors edge american terrior pitt bull...the birth of these five pups nearly killed momma bella ...due to this one ...three times larger than his siblings ...all lived and are healthy and happilly adopted. I had him with me for the past worst year of my single adult family LESS life...addictions, and financial poverty...sleeping in a tent at times and if not for him..."beaner" i would not have had the courage to go on...No one cared i felt...and it appeared that way, I am staying with a friend in her home are several dogs and NO cats...she is clean and sober now, and I am struggling with that...alone kids dont want me in thier lives...I will attempt to find answers in your book....any advice gladly taken...thanks cat day at a time...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great first book from Jackson Galaxy especially being a fan of the TV series on animal planet. There are tips in the book that he shares for cat people that are pretty valuable. Really glad I got this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you are looking for a "How To" book to fix your cat, this is not the one. With that said, this is a phenomenal read about an individual who discovered his true passion amidst a life of obstacles and setbacks and about the animals and humans who mentored him along the way. Jackson does, however, disperses valuable cat tips throughout his poignant bio. A must have in your feline library. Four Paws Up in Washington.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I Looooooooove it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
LeisureReader More than 1 year ago
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.
MilwaukieGal More than 1 year ago
I enjoy Jackson Galaxy's show on TV, but he doesn't seem to be a writer. The book went back and forth in time and subjects. There seemed to be more stories about J. Galaxy rather than the cat I thought he'd be talking more about. The book was just hard to follow and I almost didn't finish it several times. I just thought I should give it a chance & it might get better - it didn't!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very interesting look inside Jackson Galaxy's history with addiction and how a cat helped him recover while teaching him about love and responsibility. Not meant for young readers and maybe not for everyone (contains references to drugs) but I loved it - especially how he advocated for cats in shelters that were forgotten or given up on. I cried at the end even though I knew it was coming. THAT touching. Thanks Jackson. It took guts to be honest and put it all out there.
MaryAnn_Koopmann More than 1 year ago
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. The writing here is exceptional. It is can’t-put-down good book. A vivid portrait of the internal battle faced in some measure by every person who has done drugs. Refreshingly candid. . . . This lively, revealing, and entertaining book is certain to roil the cat world and make a big splash beyond. What a gifted man; a great storyteller, too. I would be so happy to meet Jackson Galaxy in person and thank him for sharing his life story. This is one of the best books I've ever read, absolutely one of a kind book- eye-opening mysteries of life, love and cats told in a beautiful language. I recommend this book to all that love to read, to anyone that loves animals, especially cats. It has a great storyline, and I found often that it was hard for me to put down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the book. The story of his life and strife is uplifting and I love that he never gave up on that quirky cat. I love the show and the strides he makes to make people better cat guardians.
Jim_Capp More than 1 year ago
Great book. I knew there was something I liked about Jackson from watching him on television plus I love cats. What a wonderful mix of information about cats and an 'autobiography' of his life. From his debilitating addictions to where he is now. He is an interesting man and his way with cats is amazing. I will be using what I learned from this book to get closer to my four cats. Thanks Jackson. Benny Rocks!