Specialist in addiction medicine since 1973, author of The Twelve Step Pathway - A Heroic Journey of Recovery

The Twelve Step Pathway – A Heroic Journey of Recovery reframes addiction recovery as a Heroic Journey. Since 1935 the most successful recovery approach to alcoholism has been the Twelve Step program of Alcoholics Anonymous. This book lays out the parameters of the Heroic Journey as described by Joseph Campbell and shows how by following the path of the Twelve Steps one is indeed engaged in a Heroic Journey. Thus, a recovering person can come to understand himself or herself as heroic as opposed to a failure at life, shamed and disgraced. The book develops the spiritual nature of the Twelve Steps and draws on the wisdom of many sources including the Bible, Buddhism, Christian and Jewish writers, and Dr. Carl Jung. Woven into the didactic material are many stories of recovery including that of Bill Wilson, a co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. If there is one single personality characteristic that is universally present in addiction, it is low self-esteem. Unless this self-perception is altered to a positive one, relapse is a predictable outcome. Helping alcoholics and promoting recovery has been my life’s work, and I know that this book will inspire people on their journey.

Autobiography of a Georgia Cat is the story of a Southern African-American family as it struggles with the illness and death of a granddaughter who is married to a Jewish man. Spiritual and family themes are emphasized. The story is narrated by Black Jack, the remarkable family cat, who also tells of his own life as an indoor-outdoor cat in Marietta, Georgia. Much space is devoted to “feline” mythology and spirituality which have a distinctly Native-American flavor. The strands of many cultures are woven into the fabric of this story, leaving the reader with a positive message of hope and of the oneness of all things.

Animal lovers will never look at their pets the same again after meeting Black Jack, a deeply spiritual cat with a wry sense of humor. He agonizes through the alcoholism of his guardian, Archie, and the increasing decrepitude of Archie’s wife, Cora, and her centenarian mother. The constant outpouring of gospel music from Mama’s radio adds to the spiritual power of this charming and touching story. Whether from his commentary on dogs, fur balls, human nature, or whatever he has on his mind as he tells his tale, the reader will know that he has had an encounter with a wise, wonderful, and unforgettable feline.

Hear an interview with Dr. Gordon on Radio Sandy Springs from 2/21/07

Meet the Gordon cats!

We are a “blended cat” family, as Judy and I each had 2 cats when we got married. Mine were Baby Blue and Black Jack, and hers were Smoogie and Archie. Black Jack died after an operation in 1999, and Archie died suddenly and inexplicably in 2002. We acquired Lucy Locket in 2000 and Tiger late in 2002. The twins, Jackson and Shayna Maidel, came along in 2009, and Ladybug2 in 2012. Magi came to live with us in July of 2020. All our cats are rescues from the Good Mews shelter in Marietta where Judy is a volunteer.

Baby Blue

She was my first cat. I brought her home as a kitten about 2 months after Gena died in 1992. She died of kidney failure in July of 2008. Baby Blue was not very bright so she had to get by on her good looks. Smoogie was her biological mother, a relationship they both celebrated with open hostility.


She was the model for “Grits” in the story. Judy brought her home after she recovered from a losing encounter with a car on Atlanta Road where she had been the (Brawner) Hospital cat. She adored male visitors of the 2-legged variety. Smoogie died of kidney failure in January, 2009, but she took satisfaction in lasting a lot longer than Brawner Hospital did.

Lucy Locket

She was a Siamese mix that we got from the humane society. Because of her stocky, no-neck build, she was also known as Lucy Linebacker. She never liked other cats, and it took 7 years before she would let me pet her. She died of kidney failure in January, 2011.


We adopted him from the Good Mews shelter where Judy volunteers. He had more charm and personality than you can shake a stick at, and got along with everyone, except the twins (vide infra). He enjoyed his life immensely until the very last day when he died of cancer in 2014.


He was adopted as a kitten by Judy as a companion for Smoogie who resented him at first until she recognized his value as an interactive cat toy. He and Judy were extremely close, and his sudden death at age 9 was tough to take.

Black Jack

The model for the Black Jack in the story, we adopted him as a kitten companion for Baby Blue a few weeks after she joined our family. He was a large handsome cat who was on the nervous side and used to soothe himself with an endearing thumb-sucking ritual. He is proud to live on as a literary cat.


We adopted him as a kitten from the Good Mews shelter in East Cobb in June of 2009, along with his twin sister, Shanya Maidel. He is also known as Nascar, because his motor is always running.

Shayna Maidel

Another very pretty little girl, she is the epitome of the curious cat, and is always in a good mood. She and Jackson enjoy watching TV, especially tennis or shows on Animal Planet.


She came to us as a kitten from Good Mews in 2012 and blended right in. She is a tricolor tabby and wears her orange tinges proudly.


Magi (pronounced Mah-jee) came to us as a kitten in July 2020. He is our panther cat, 14 pounds of muscle, bone, and energy, almost too much so for Ladybug, who doesn’t care for him at all. Another Good Mews cat, he seems as happy to be with us as we are with him.