Book Review: Cat Daddy by Jackson Galaxy

If you haven’t heard of the Cat Daddy by now, you must not have cable (like me) or live in outer space.  He’s this chill, rock n roll guy who has a show on Animal Planet, called “My Cat from Hell” where he helps pet guardians work through their cat issues.  It’s a pretty cool show, although I don’t like the name.  The title itself gives the impression that a cat’s poor behavior could be a result of their personality, when really it’s a result of the stimuli and environment around them. 

Capt. Jack Sparrow wishes he could read

Capt. Jack Sparrow wishes he could read


One-Sentence Synopsis: 

The author, a now famous “cat mojo” expert, shares his life's journey in parallel of rescue cats, while becoming clean from drugs and working at an animal shelter.

The Good:

This book was unexpectedly a heart-warming and encouraging book about following your passion to do what's right.  I expected it to be full of mostly tips on how to live with cats, which it did have a few of those, too.  Jackson shares his life story and how he came to be a cat mojo expert.  The parallels he makes are deeply moving, which I shed a few tears on.  It was an easy read that I finished in a few days, and came out the other side with a heart full of gratitude.

The Bad: 

Nothing really.  A few more specific cat tips would have been nice.

What I learned: 

Everyone has their own struggles, during which animals show deep, unwavering love, even if they themselves are suffering.  A lot of people choose to mask pain in life.  Heck, even I have done this with alcohol a few times.  You know, that drink "just to take the edge off of a stressful day"?

Is it fear that we hold? Some are afraid to face the reality we live in, like Jackson did for decades.  We all need to take a cue from his book, and realize we cannot shy away from the pain.  That pang of guilt in your gut or tear in your eye you have when you see a malnourished, abused, and neglected animals is nothing compared to the physical pain that animal feels, yet they still express love during this pain.  The difference is, we have the power to change their outcome.  As Jackson said, the love we have for our own animal companion, bottle it and share it with all.

…consults I would do were for cats who had just been adopted from the shelter, to help keep them in the homes they’d just gone to.
— Jackson Galaxy in Cat Daddy, Page 100

Jackson's mantra that I repeat to myself often during my volunteer work:

Higher Power, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
— Jackson Galaxy in Cat Daddy, Page 128

This next quote, I find particularly helpful.  I have personally noticed this in my own home with my tabby, Bailey.

I always told adopters that you are at the top of the energy food chain in your home. Your stress becomes manifested in your animal companions, as surely as it is manifested in your significant other, in your children.
— Jackson Galaxy in Cat Daddy, Page 221

Why should you care about this book? If you are someone who doubts your direction or worth in life, or you just love cats, then read this book.

The moment of "Um....I can't remember what to say! Ah!"

The moment of "Um....I can't remember what to say! Ah!"

The best part about this review is that I was fortunate enough to catch Jackson at his book signing for Catification in Austin, TX just a few weeks after I finished this book.  Yes, I drove to Austin from Houston just to see the Cat Daddy…and it was awesome.  While he signed my book, I tried to thank him for using his platform to educate people and inspire them to care about animal’s quality of life.  I was so caught up in the excitement, though, that when I tried to speak, I sounded like a turkey gobble.  Talk about embarrassing!  I did get a hug though, so I guess embarrassing myself was worth it.  He left me with saying...

“the world is changing…”.

Amen to that, Jackson, Amen.