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Dewey Readmore Books

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 story.

You can learn more about Dewey at his web site.


rusty-spotted cat

Kitten Claws Way Into "Dewey" Author's Heart
Associated Press
January 4, 2009

DES MOINES, Iowa - Vicki Myron intended to wait a year or two before getting another cat.

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 the cat.

" 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 and Dewey.

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."

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