The staff at Spencer Public Library, in Spencer, Iowa, was surprised to
find someone had dumped a kitten into their book return chute back in 1988.
They decided to keep the little guy and a contest was held to give him
a name, the winning entry being Dewey Readmore Books. He lived at the library
until 2006 when he passed away from complications from a stomach tumor.
Over his long life Dewey became a celebrity of sorts, so much so that the
library director was recently given a $1.25 million advance to write his
You can learn more about Dewey at his web
Claws Way Into "Dewey" Author's Heart
January 4, 2009
DES MOINES, Iowa - Vicki Myron intended to wait a year or two before getting
Her best-selling book, Dewey, The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the
World, was keeping her on the road most of the time and she didn't have
time for a pet.
An orange and white kitten found on a snow-covered road changed her mind.
" I fell in love instantly," Myron says.
The little tabby was found Dec. 16 by Sue Selzer, who works for the school
district in Myron's northwest Iowa hometown of Spencer.
" I was out and about and met a truck that swerved in the road," Selzer
says. "I saw something and thought it was some garbage or something but
when I got close I saw it was a kitten."
Selzer pulled into a parking lot, then walked into the street to pick up
" It was snowing quite heavily and she was covered in snow. She had ice
chunks hanging from her. She had twigs and leaves tangled in her fur," Selzer
says. "I took her back to my office and dried her off, put some warm water
on her and cleaned her up."
Two days later, she took the cat to the Spencer Public Library, where Myron
was meeting with a Japanese television crew working on a show about Myron
Myron's book (written with Bret Witter) chronicles the life of Dewey and
the Iowa farm town of about 11,000, where Dewey had served as house cat
in the library ever since Myron plucked him from a book deposit bin on
a frigid January morning in 1988.
Dewey Readmore Books, named after the Dewey Decimal System used by libraries
to catalog books, quickly became famous in Spencer and attracted attention
worldwide. He died Nov. 29, 2006. A granite marker sits outside the library,
where his ashes were buried beneath the lawn.
Myron named the new kitten Page.
" That was from a fan whose son suggested that name because I'm turning
over a new page in my life," says Myron.
The library, where Myron served as director for about 20 years before retiring
last year, has decided not to adopt Page as its new boarder. Kay Larson,
the library's current director, says the board will discuss getting a new
cat at its Jan. 8 meeting.
Myron said that since she took Page in, the kitten has thrived.
" She's a sweet, loving cat, very affectionate, very easygoing," she
says. "She's definitely a girl but eats like a pig, probably because she
was a street cat that probably had to fend for herself."
Although her book, which reached No. 1 on The New York Times list of nonfiction
best sellers last year and remains at No. 2, has kept Myron on the road
promoting her work, she didn't hesitate to take the kitten.
" I knew if the right one came along at the right time I'd get one, but
I was hoping it would be a couple of years down the road because I'm not around
much," she says. "But here she is. We kind of found each other."
The Infinite Cat Project
Presented by Mike Stanfill, Private Hand