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Cat Daddy: How One Very Special Cat Fixed One Very Broken Man

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  1,767 ratings  ·  344 reviews
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 ...more
Published May 10th 2012 by Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin Group USA
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Cheryl Anne Gardner
Let me just preface this review by saying that I'm a twenty year ferret caretaker. I never had cats until I recently adopted a feral from my yard last August who we had been working with and caring for for six years. He eventually wanted to come in, so we let him. Cat guardianship is all new to me, but animal guardianship, in general, is not. I've been a lifelong animal lover and caretaker, so I devoured this book in a weekend. Galaxy is a kindred spirit, and I could not put this book down from ...more
I'm not done yet, but I wanted to comment on some reviews I've read...I'm not understanding how people are giving this book lower stars or a less than glowing review because they expected it to be a cat behavior book.

It's subtitled: "What the World's Most Incorrigible Cat Taught Me About Life, Love, and Coming Clean."

Not: "How I Taught the World's Most Incorrigible Cat to Live, Love, and Be Clean."

Rate a book on it's content and it's writing. Not your expectations.
I wanted to love this book; I really did. I am a fan of Jackson Galaxy's Animal Planet show, and I really appreciate him and his mission to help cats and other pets find forever homes and stay in homes once they are placed. However, this book was not my favorite.

I did understand going in that this was a memoir about how Jackson's relationship with his cat Benny helped him through a very difficult time in his life and helped him kick his addictions. At least, that's what I thought it was about.
Jay Greenwood
Oct 14, 2013 Jay Greenwood rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone, cat lover or cat hater.
Shelves: non-fiction, animals
Amazing, Cat Daddy is simply amazing. A surprise, a pleasure, and for me, a brutally honest view of the modern human experience. Once I picked it up, it didn't leave my fingers until every page was turned.

Let me start by being honest myself. When I first saw "My Cat from Hell", I thought that Jackson Galaxy was a tool. I mean, come on, who is named Jackson Galaxy? Who shaves their beard halfway and wears neon pink vests? What can a guy who has giant dangling piercings, a bald head, and a body fu

The book focuses on who this guy is??? I mean how does a guy who looks like Jackson become and advocate for cats?I am totally with him too when it comes to spaying and neutering your pets. There are millions and millions of pets. Do we really need anymore? Do people really need to make that $1000 off another litter of animals. So sad. Please Please read this book if you are thinking about getting a pet ESPECIALLY a cat. I just dished out almost $1500 on my
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I chose to list to the audio version of this book, narrated by Jackson Galaxy. Really, there is nothing more poignant, emotional, and compelling than a book with this much pathos actually narrated by the author himself. It allows Galaxy to punctuate and accurately show the triumphs and failures - in his own unique voice.

As the title suggests, this is about the 'cat daddy' as he was nicknamed. But it is also about his rela
Frankly, I'm amazed that Mr. Galaxy lived long enough to write this book. To me, that is part of the problem of this book, as it spent quite a lot of time chronicling the author's struggle with drugs, alcohol and food. Benny, meant to be the inspiration for writing this book, seemed to be more of a side character and, while I got an essence of what made him so special, I wanted to spend more time with him and less time in AA. There were also some turns of phrase that were too clever for their ow ...more
I don't really know why I picked up this book, 'cept I have psycho cats ( seriously psycho)
and was hoping to find out why they fight at 3:00AM EVERY morning, well, almost every morning.
Jackson Galaxy is the host of the TV show " My Cat From Hell". This is how he got there.
However, it is also a peek inside the way animals communicate with us,
emulate us, and ultimately change us, or try to, with some great tips sprinkled in on how to
observe your own pets and see what's really going on.
I have t
Rebecca Huston
A very interesting, non-fluffy book about cats, and living with them. Jackson Galaxy is outspoken, honest and compassionate, and I can happily recommend this one. Two serious notes here -- he's very honest about overcoming alcohol and drug addiction and that won't sit well with some readers, and also about spaying and neutering your pets. Four stars overall.

For the longer review, please go here:
Read my full review:


This is one of those books that the book description is so off from what the book is truly about that I would have to ask the pe
This is what you would get if you met a drunk Jackson Galaxy on holiday who decided to share the story of his life with you over the course of an entire night.

What you get is: brutal honesty, well-meaning but vague lessons about acceptance, struggle and addiction, a bittersweet calm joy for his achievements. Cats are sprinkled in the mix, not that generously, but only because you know this guy is bound to mention cats quite often. You like this guy, his monologue is interesting.

At the same time
A critic has said that one important measure of a superior work of literature is its ability to produce in the reader a healthy confusion of pleasure and disquietude. Select a literary work that produces this “healthy confusion.” ~1985 A P English test prompt

Jackson Galaxy's journey from a drinking and drugging failed rock star to sober famous cat behaviorist and star of the Animal Planet show "My Cat from Hell" meets the test of a good book as by the "healthy confusion" standard. It is the tale
Take the love you feel for one and love all. The process is terrifying. Loving the world is not like the trust fall exercise you did in EST, summer camp, or your last corporate retreat; loving the world is far bigger than that and far more impossible.

I'll say this much: you won't read the book if you don't love animals, but if you love animals, whether or not you know who this guy is, this is one to read. Not because it's brilliant but because sometimes you like hearing how much other people l
Tchula Ripton
I love Jackson Galaxy's show, My Cat From Hell, so I thought I'd check out his book. Unfortunately, it reads less like a book than a private journal, with numerous stream-of-consciousness passages--mostly having to do with Mr. Galaxy's past drug and alcohol addictions. Some judicious editing could have made this a much better book, with more emphasis given to stories about various cats, and much less given to random rants.

A note for parents: there are numerous swear words peppered throughout the
Too much metaphorical mumbo-jumbo about his various drug, alcohol and food addictions, and not enough about his cat Benny.

Not what I was expecting (or hoping for) when I picked up this book at the library after an extremely long wait list.

Still love his show and his insights on cats, though.

Mr. Galaxy's inspirational memoir is more complex than the subtitle lets on: he was an addict reformed not by one cat but by a cause: shelter animals, or the millions of animals discarded and eventually euthanized due to behavioral problems. This passion lies beneath Mr. Galaxy's accounts of druggy girlfriends and stoned band practices; he wants to communicate what he's learned during his work at a shelter, encouraging readers to rethink their ideas about animal life. For example, he argues that ...more
Deborah Barnes
First and foremost, this is definitely not your conventional cat book. This is not a story of a cute and fluffy kitten that is abandoned and finds a new home in a library to inspire the whole town. Nor is it a happy go lucky adventure of a man and his cat who entertain us with humorous antidotes. The language in this book is graphic and unapologetic, the imagery that is described as a result of situations that stem from serious drug and alcohol addictions can be unsettling, and, because the auth ...more
Miss Kitty
I enjoyed this way more than I thought I would and wound up speed-reading to the end. It's a parallel story of cat bromance and sobriety that's laced with plenty of profanity so that you don't think you're reading a Lifetime movie script. Or at least the profanity help me from thinking that. I feel like the last two books I've read - Pema Chodron's The Wisdom of No Escape and now Cat Daddy - unexpectedly wound up being about the same things: dealing with your emotions (even the icky ones) and be ...more
An easy book to read in a sitting or two.

I desperately wanted to like this book because I like Galaxy's program on Animal Planet, and because he has devoted so much time and effort in helping people to live with cats. (I was permitted no pets as a child, but cats entered my life forty years ago and are now fully there. So I am an unabashed cat person.)

The ghost-writing is breezy, even flip. But I learned as a child that people who resort to "curse words" show they have a limited vocabulary and p
Jo * Smut-Dickted *
What a remarkable book. I'm a Jackson Galaxy fan - having enjoyed his shows and his depth. He has taught me a ton so to see how he evolved and how things worked (and didn't!) for him was a looking glass in opportunity. This book was particularly emotional for me - but really rewarding. Highly recommended!
H. P. Reed
I like this man. I like what he does with cats, I like his quirkiness and unashamed emotional response to humans and animals alike. So I thought that I would like his book. But no. I couldn't finish the book. There was just too much exposed mental and emotional flesh. I wanted to shake him and yell, "TMI, Jackson, TMI!" His scenes with catdom were what has made his followers love him but the drug and alcohol confessions consumed too much of the book. I still like this wonderful human who so kind ...more
HIghly, highly recommend this book to all cat guardians, cat lovers and people who work with animals.
This book is not just about cats and/or animals. It is about how much animals affect us, how they can change our lives, and how they can provide a reflection of ourselves in ways that are both challenging and rewarding.
Also, as a person who works with animals every day; Jackson provides tips and suggestions that have already given me some new insight.

So I recently discovered 'My Cat From Hell.' What strikes me about the show is that Jackson doesn't have any kind of mystical cat whispering ability - he's just attentive and responsive to the needs and behaviours of cats. He's also exceedingly patient - both with cat owners (who are more often than not the source of all the problems and obnoxiously oblivious, to boot) and with the animals, obviously.

I saw a review somewhere saying that the book was more about his addiction issues than cats and
One of the many lovely things about working in a library is coming across books you wouldn’t otherwise have known about. I pulled this gem from the book-return chute and the cover intrigued me. On it is a large friendly guy who looks like a hell’s angel with a pretty little ginger cat perched on his shoulder So this had to be interesting. It is the story of Jackson and Benny who embarked on a beautiful journey of discovery together, two broken souls who mended each other. Jackson was a drug addi ...more
Shonna Froebel
This memoir is by Jackson Galaxy, known for his show My Cat from Hell on Animal Planet. I haven't watched the show, but I was attracted by the title and finding out he earns his living as a cat behaviorist. Galaxy talks about his special relationship with cats and the very special cat, Benny, that influenced his life in a big way. The two first met when Galaxy was working at an animal shelter, trying to make it as a rock musician and spending most of his earnings on drugs and alcohol. Benny show ...more
Erica Larson
I found the show on Netflix and decided to watch out of love for my fur babies and boredom. After a couple episodes I had to google this strange guy with the bizarre name. I saw he had written this book and after sitting through a couple more episodes, I knew I just had to read this and find out how the hell this guy came to be because he's so damn fascinating to watch.

Those expecting a book on cat behavior are the ones writing the two star star reviews. This book is not that nor is it intended
I really enjoyed this book. The audio version was great, and I loved Jackson Galaxy as the narrator. He was just as good when he was talking in a soothing voice to cats as he was cursing at life in general! I generally am not a fan of author narrated books, but this was the exception. The story was also really good; I had not seen his television show before, but I was immediately hooked by the story line of the author overcoming his several addictions and his work with the cats. There are some g ...more
Wow. Just wow. I really mean it when I say I couldn't put this book down - I read it in one sitting, cover to cover. I'll preface this by saying that I was already a Jackson Galaxy fan beforehand, so I am probably a bit biased.

I wasn't sure what to expect with this book. Was it going to mostly about cat behaviorist tricks, or would it concentrate on Jackson's past? In my opinion, this book struck a really great balance between detailing Jackson's addiction problems, the life of Benny (his former
As something of a cat guru myself, I have been delighted with Galaxy's success in helping cat owners understand the world from the perspective of their cats. Something I have been attempting to do in my work for years. Now I had a TV personality I could point to for justification of method.

But this is not a book about cat behavior, or even a book about a cat behaviorist. This is the story of a man's battle against addiction and self-destructive behavior. Embattled with his life and I think, wit
I won this book in a First Reads giveaway.

I like Jackson Galaxy's show, so I was anxious to learn more about his life and his path to becoming a "cat whisperer." I love that he is who he is, and that, despite butting heads with various people and fellow cat behavior experts along his way to becoming who he is today, he continues to follow his passion, surprise people, and fly his (lovely) freak flag.

However, I've had a difficult time finishing this book. I do find his story interesting. I love
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Jackson Galaxy (born c. 1966 as Richard Kirschner) is a cat behaviorist and host of the television show My Cat from Hell.

Born on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, he legally changed his name when he was in his twenties. He has a Master of Fine Arts in acting. Galaxy learned cat behavior through his work with rescue cats, originally with the Humane Society of Boulder Valley, Colorado.

Galaxy went in
More about Jackson Galaxy...
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“If you've ever rubbed shoulders with insanity, he is a sweaty, foul-breathed cab driver who locks the door and takes you wherever he wants. The more you squirm to get out, the happier he seems to get. Insanity loves- no, needs-company.” 8 likes
“When all great movements are in their infancy, they are nourished basically on the mother's milk of righteous indignation. It is a time of red-faced screaming and finger pointing. That's a good thing - we need to be angry to move toward any systemic change. But ultimately the fingers have to stop pointing and the hand has got to get down to work - and the work is always messy.” 7 likes
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