Homer Hickam, author of the memoir Rocket Boys (made into the movie October Sky), recalls his first years as a NASA engineer while also telling the story of his fluffy black and white cat Paco who had the magic ability to make people smile and give them hope. But when Paco was struck down by a disease that left him unable to walk, Hickam was faced with a terrible decision, let his beloved cat live in misery or put him to sleep. Before that decision could be made, the space mission Hickam was working on needed to be rescued and there was only one sure way to save it: Paco’s magic meow! This is a true story of the space age that is also a delightful tale of the love between an engineer and his cat.

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Reviews

“Homer Hickam is a national treasure. America’s most beloved Rocket Boy tells the touching story of a space-crazy man and his cat. Paco will delight pet-lovers and wanna-be astronauts alike.”
– Dr. Marty Becker “America’s Veterinarian” on Good Morning America, Dr. Oz Show and Vetstreet.com. Author of 20 books on pets.

“To watch folks at NASA do their thing during a mission, you’d think they were all “steely-eyed missile men (and women).” But if you’ve worked there, you know this is only part of the story. In this memoir, Homer gives you a slice of what it’s like to join NASA and become part of the family – and how your real family (including 4 legged members) participate as a team. I know. My cat Biner also meowed in space. Read it (preferably) with a cat curled up on your lap.”
– Keith Cowing, editor of NASAWATCH.com and author of New Moon Rising: The Making of America’s New Space Vision and the Remaking of NASA.

“They say in space that no one can hear you meow. But is that true? Homer Hickam’s story about his time at NASA – and his cat – hits all the right notes. A little humor, a little history, a few tears, and a lot about yours truly! A wonderful read.”
– Dr. Wernher von Braun (aka DrvonBraun on Twitter)