Tuesday, February 8, 2022

The illustrated "Don't Blow Yourself Up" - Cats


Don't Blow Yourself Up - To order click on cover

Many readers have asked for photos to better illustrate my memoir, Don't Blow Yourself Up: The Further Adventures and Travails of the Rocket Boy of October Sky. Included in the stories are some beloved cats. Here they are.

TIKI and TECH - Siamese cat brothers who belonged to my parents and lived in Coalwood, WV during the time described in the memoir. 


Only known photo of one of the Siamese, either Tiki or Tech, displaying typical Siamese behavior of climbing up on things

GATO - Homer got Gato along with his sister in Salt Lake City the summer of 1967 as a gift for a friend. She named him Nephi and the sister Amelia. Homer ended up with Nephi who was renamed Gato. Gato was a beloved friend who went everywhere with Homer. He died in Germany in 1981.


Young Gato at Dugway Proving Ground, Utah 1967

Young Gato outside on Dugway Proving Ground, Utah 1967

14 year old Gato, Germany, 1981


BC - Technically not a cat, BC was known as a banana cat in Vietnam. BC lived with Homer at the Oasis, a firebase on the Cambodian border, in 1968, even through a battle during the Tet Offensive. Homer had to give BC away to a medic who was glad to have him.

BC on a sandbag

Homer and BC at the Oasis, 1968


PACO - Paco was Homer's cat from 1986 well into the 2000's. He was a special cat who shared his life with Homer and his wife Linda during most of Homer's NASA career.

Paco after SL-J, the Japanese space mission for which Homer was the training manager. Gato is wearing a Ninja helmet given to him by the Japanese space agency after Paco saved the mission.

Paco on his favorite rock beside his house in Huntsville. He often waited there for Homer to come home from work

Paco with Homer's novel Back to the Moon - He was a character in the novel