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Posts Tagged ‘Vicki Myron’

As someone possessed by two cats and one dog, I know people love talking about their pets. As a birthday card I recently received stated, “They’re just children who eat off the floor.” Our pets are family.

But I also know that pet-less people (poor souls) often have little patience hearing about our rug rats’ antics and accomplishments.  Happily, there are the rest of us, and every now and then one of our own becomes world-famous. Such was the case of an orange kitten left in the drop-off box of the Spencer, Iowa, library in January 1988. Vicki Myron was the lucky library director who rescued the half-frozen furball and named him Dewey Readmore Books. For 19 years, he was “the library cat,” whose winning ways endeared him to library patrons, the town and everyone who met him. Then Myron chronicled his life and times in the best-selling memoir, Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World.

“He was just a cat, but he had a way of inspiring our better selves,” says Myron in the new Dewey’s Nine Lives, which she co-wrote with Bret Witter. This book was inspired by the response to the first Dewey book; people are still writing Myron with stories about their cats. Here, she collects seven of them, bookended by two new Dewey tales, that illustrate the special bond between cats and their people.

If you are allergic to fuzzy and warm-hearted, this is not the book for you. I found most of the stories entertaining, especially those of the now-defunct Sanibel Island cat colony and the “church” cat of Camden, Ala. But because they’re Myron’s accounts of other people’s cat tales, the “Dewey Magic” is second-hand. Most of us cat-lovers can spin similar stories about our favorite felines.

That’s probably why publisher Penguin is sponsoring a “I Believe in Dewey’s Magic” story contest, http://us.penguingroup.com/static/pages/features/dewey/index.html  Winning stories will be included in the paperback edition of Dewey’s Nine Lives. Smart marketing ploy.

Even as I write, my orange cat, the Giant Peach, is curled up at my feet. Once upon a time he was a tiny kitten with huge mitts my friend Kathy found in a dumpster. I had just written about an extra-toed orange cat named Peach in the first Caroline Cousins’ novel, Fiddle-Dee-Death. Now, the same month the book was published here was a real-life Peach who needed a home. I know this picture of him draped over my bookcase is out of focus; it was taken with a old phone camera. But I like it even if it is fuzzy. . .

Open Book: Anne Staszalek, marketing associate with AuthorsOnTheWeb, offered me an advance readers edition of Dewey’s Nine Lives by Vicki Myron and Bret Witter (Dutton/Penguin). I’m not about to turn down a cat book in need of a home.

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