For South Florida cat lovers, cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy’s appearance at Books & Books in Coral Gables this past Friday, May 17, was the event of the season.
Galaxy, star and host of Animal Planet’s hit series, My Cat From Hell, was in town promoting the paperback release of his memoir, Cat Daddy What the World’s Most Incorrigible Cat Taught Me About Life, Love, and Coming Clean (Tracher/Penguin).
The book is a very honest, very revealing look into a particularly chaotic time in Galaxy’s life. A rock musician by night and animal shelter worker by day, Galaxy was struggling with every part of his life, including a serious substance abuse problem.
When a cat named Benny arrived at the shelter broken physically (his pelvis had been shattered by a car) and emotionally, it was Galaxy who took him in. Cat Daddy is the story of how this coupling changed – and saved – both of their lives.
From the moment Galaxy entered the room, he exuded charisma, charm, warmth and sincerity. The crowd was instantly engaged. His talk was educational, funny and genuinely emotional. After the discussion, he graciously signed dozens (if not hundreds) of books, posed for photos and talked with everyone who approached.
I had the opportunity to interview Galaxy a couple of hours before the event. He was candid, kind, outgoing and willing to even answer a truly silly question.
When I commented on how open and honest Cat Daddy is, he replied (with a smile in his voice):
“If I had a publicist at the time I wrote the book, it would never have been released.”
When Cat Daddy was originally released in hard cover a year ago, Galaxy waited for the backlash. But it never came. He was surprised how many people showed their support and appreciation of the raw honesty.
“The only complaints I received were about the language in the book,” he shared.
Cat Daddy does highlight Galaxy’s addictive personality. With so much going on in his professional life – the television show, the book, his clients, charity endeavors, I was curious how he was able to keep it all in balance.
“I don’t balance it,” he said. “Now I’m a workaholic. But the work does keep me grounded.”
The book also reveals Galaxy’s past as an artist and actor. Both still contribute to how he approaches his clients.
“As an actor, musician and artist, I am always looking at people and trying to figure out their story. When working with a cat who was a stray, I have to reconstruct his life, figure out what he’s been through,” he explained.
Our conversation eventually focusds on holistic nutrition and wellness for cats.
In addition to his growing media career, Galaxy has two other businesses, Spirit Essences – holistic flower essence remedies for cats, dogs and horses and Little Big Cat – providing education to cat guardians through their blog, free e-newsletter and hundreds of articles on feline health, behavior and nutrition, both started years ago with one of the truly great holistic veterinarians of our lifetime, Dr. Jean Hofve.
It was Dr. Hofve who first educated Galaxy about species appropriate nutrition for cats.
“Jean is the foremost authority on cat nutrition,” he said.
Dr. Hofve figures prominently in Cat Daddy. After many years of people telling them both that they simply had to meet each other they finally did.
“Within ten minutes, we formed our first company (Little Big Cat),” shared Galaxy.
Galaxy also partnered with Dr. Hofve for the Spirit Essences line. As his following continues to grow, so does the business.
I made a comment to Galaxy about not giving the formula internally to my cats because they are stabilized in alcohol. He told me that there is simply no other effective way to stabilize flower essences.
“We are now including a spray top applicator so the essences can be sprayed in a room, in a carrier, on furniture, etc.”
Finally, the silly question I asked him:
If Spiderman got his spidey powers from being bitten by a spider, can you attribute your super cat daddy powers to being bitten by many cats? He laughed a little and then answered.
“No! I think I have an immunity to cat bites. I haven’t gotten an infection from one in 20 years (I probably just jinxed that).”
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To contact Jodi directly, visit HolisticHealthyPets.net or email firstname.lastname@example.org.