The Book Corner:

Dewey the Library Cat

by Vicki Myron with Bret Witter

How many of us have sat with a good book and a cat snuggled up with us? Besides their history in literature, cats and books just seem to go together.

Written in 2008, but timeless, Dewey the Library Cat is the sweet and touching true tale of a tiny orange kitten discovered in the drop-off box at a small Iowa town’s library one morning. Whether he was abandoned or put there by a well-meaning person to save him from the 10° temperatures at night, his future could only get better, and it did – for his caregivers, for the town, and for the world. Named through a town vote for the book cataloging system, his official name became Dewey Readmore Books.

Dewey’s arrival was concurrent with hard times in the heartland. Farms were disappearing along with their towns, yet Dewey became a beacon of hope and the center of life in Spencer. His charming antics in the library and his sensitivity and kindness to those in need – special needs children, elderly patrons, people just having a bad time — drew admirers from far and wide. He transformed the lives of his caregivers, the library, and his town — there was even a documentary made in Japan about him! Not only did Dewey evolve with the times, he changed them.

Dewey the Library Cat, written by Vicki Myron with Bret Witter, is an easy read, an inspirational book about hope, salvation, and love. A number of other books were later written about Dewey and his legacy, including several for children. This amazing and magical cat is a perfect example of the impact of just one animal — and how rescue actually saves the rescuers.

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New York State Humane Association Humane Review, Vol.XLII, Spring 2024.