Saturday, November 21, 2009

Dewey the Library Cat

Dewey: the Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron (636.8 MYR Main & Avoca; SSB 636.8 MYR Main)
Reviewed by Susan

Ahhh! Once in a while, a book comes along with all the “right stuff.” Love. Animals. True life.

On the coldest night of the year, a kitten was dumped in the book drop of a small Midwestern town. Next morning, the librarians found a half dead kitten. Filthy. Little paws frostbitten. From the moment he found a home at the library, he also found a way into the hearts of just about everyone in the community. Tall order for a little orange fur ball!

“Dewey” is short for “Dewey Readmore Books.” OK. That long name came around because everybody in town named him. The young librarian tells the story. She eventually becomes the library director and shares her life story along with Deweys. One thing for sure. She can take you right along with the story. It is obvious that she loves the little town of Spencer. The corn fields of Iowa. The library and people. From the beginning there is a special bond between her and Dewey. They connected and helped each other. She, like Dewey, was a survivor, and her story is as inspiring as Dewey’s.

Now, not every cat can be a good library cat. Dewey seemed to know when people needed him. He would let kids carry him upside down. Invite businessmen to pet him with one hand while holding the Wall Street Journal with the other. When people were suffering, he seemed to have a sixth sense, sitting with them, either in their lap or nearby. Don’t get me wrong…he was all CAT. Had a thing about rubber bands for instance. They kept disappearing from desks. If one was left out, in a tray or an open desk drawer, he would find them and eat em.

This is such an inspirational story. Dewey's story spread across state lines and even around the world. In 2003 Japanese Public Television filmed Dewey. Get out the tissues. Dewey had a long and wonderful life, but pets live such a short time. His obituary ran in well over 200 newspapers. His story will warm your hearts, make you laugh and cry.

The Bristol Public Library has had its share of animal stories. Since moving into the new building, we have had a bird fly into the building. A cat got stranded in the courtyard and numerous dogs have run through the building. And then there is Citrus. He is the beautiful bird that lives in the Children’s Department. We thought he was a he until “he” laid an egg after three years. Since then, she has graced us with eggs several times. Pay Citrus a visit. She is talkative, will sway to soft talk, and almost always squawks hello.

[Note from Jeanne: if you liked Dewey, you may want to check the children's department for a new picture book series staring Dewey. There's also a movie in the works, with Meryl Streep playing the role of Ms. Myron.]

1 comment:

  1. I can't believe I haven't read this yet. That note about the rubberbands got me though - this is going on the TBR pile. Thanks