Cat Daddy/ posted in: Book Review, Reading Cat Daddy: What the World's Most Incorrigible Cat Taught Me About Life, Love, and Coming Clean by Jackson Galaxy, Joel Derfner
on May 10, 2012
Genres: Nonfiction, Personal Memoirs
Published by Tarcher
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. 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.
I am so disappointed in this book. I’m a fan of Jackson Galaxy’s way of interacting with cats and his ability to work through their issues. It always amazes me how clueless a lot of people are about what is going on in their cat’s mind. I picked this book up to find some more inspiration about working with cats. I did find that and I understood that a lot of this would also be about his life but I wasn’t expecting to also find that he seems to be a pretty awful human being.
Over half this memoir is dedicated to the story of his many addictions and how he dealt with them. He acknowledges that he didn’t treat people well during these times but since this book is written afterwards you would hope that he would have gained some clarity. Instead he is still quite a jerk when writing about people. Perhaps I am a bit sensitive to this because the group he singles out for most of his abuse (besides his sexual partners) is veterinarians. If he just hated us all that would be one thing. I can deal with the conspiracy-theorist type client who thinks we are out to get their money and poison their cat. He is a worse type of client. He’s the type who bonds and likes you until an animal inevitably gets sick. Then he turns on you viciously for either causing the problem or not fixing the problem or doing too much to fix the problem or usually all of these at once. This happened several times in this book. I also have a real problem with his using the names of the vets he did this too. In some cases he only uses Dr. First Name which is better than the whole name but is still a jerk move to lash out at people who didn’t seem to do anything wrong even according to his own narrative. He admits that he is a person who needs to place blame for everything. Guess what, the blame very rarely lands on him. He’s a victim in all these stories.
In one case he had a diabetic cat. He gets mad because no one talked to him about nutrition. What? Nutrition is the staple of treatment for diabetes in cats. The goal is to get cats off insulin. Even if the nutrition counseling wasn’t his preferred all natural diet, I can almost promise that nutrition was discussed at some point.
In another case he had a dying cat. He didn’t want to face that fact. Then he gets mad because his cat is on a lot of meds. Here’s what probably happened. He went to the vet and didn’t want to hear about his cat dying. He wanted to try everything. Then when everything was tried he got mad because the miracle he expected didn’t occur. Suddenly it is the vet’s fault for forcing all these meds on his cat. Because it ALWAYS IS SOMEONE ELSE’S FAULT!
He even got pissed off at a vet who he went into business with who had the audacity to get heart disease. She had to cut back on how much she was working. Is she ok? Is she dead? We don’t know because we only hear about how this was a hardship on him.
So read this book for the tips on cat behavior and skim/skip the rest in order not to lose all respect for him.