The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World
Publication Date: October 2010
How much of an impact can an animal have? How many lives can one cat touch? How is it possible for an abandoned kitten to transform a small library, save a classic American town, and eventually become famous around the world? You can't even begin to answer those questions until you hear the charming story of Dewey Readmore Books, the beloved library cat of Spencer, Iowa.
Dewey's story starts in the worst possible way. Only a few weeks old, on the coldest night of the year, he was stuffed into the returned book slot at the Spencer Public Library. He was found the next morning by library director Vicki Myron, a single mother who had survived the loss of her family farm, a breast cancer scare, and an alcoholic husband. Dewey won her heart, and the hearts of the staff, by pulling himself up and hobbling on frostbitten feet to nudge each of them in a gesture of thanks and love. For the next nineteen years, he never stopped charming the people of Spencer with his enthusiasm, warmth, humility (for a cat), and, above all, his sixth sense about who needed him most.
As his fame grew from town to town, then state to state, and finally, amazingly, worldwide, Dewey became more than just a friend; he became a source of pride for an extraordinary Heartland farming town pulling its way slowly back from the greatest crisis in its long history.
Vicki Myron was born on a farm fifteen miles from Spencer, Iowa. At the age of thirty-four, after a failed marriage, single motherhood, and a stint on welfare, she graduated summa cum laude from Mankato State University and has a masters degree from Emporia State University. She worked at the Spencer Public Library for twenty-five years, the last twenty as director. She lives in Spencer, Iowa.
Bret Witter is a book editor and professional writer. Raised in north Alabama, he currently lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with his wife, two children and his fourteen-year-old cat Kiki. His other cat, Feasor, died four days after the completion of this book.
"What an extraordinary story of love, courage and devotion. I will not soon forget the good people of Spencer, Iowa and their wonderful library cat. Dewey is truly inspiration for the soul."
-Jack Canfield, co-creator of CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL
"The story of Dewey, author Vicki Myron, and Spencer, Iowa, captures what makes small town life worth preserving--a sense of community. Dewey rekindles my belief that one person (together with one cat) can change lives. Vicki gives Spencer's famous library cat a 10th life by writing this engaging biography."
-Christie Vilsack, former First Lady of Iowa and President of The Vilsack Foundation
"DEWEY is charming, lovely, and moving. It's about life and death and small-town values and, above all, love. Norton would have liked Dewey--the cat and the book-- immensely."
-Peter Gethers, author of THE CAT WHO WENT TO PARIS and THE CAT WHO'LL LIVE FOREVER