Sunday, February 15, 2009

Dewey--The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World

I picked up Dewey because I'd noticed that a number of my reading friends on Shelfari had it on their shelves. I love dog stories, being a confirmed "dog person." But we have a cat, too, so I thought I'd give him equal time.

The title, Dewey, The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World, intrigued me. How could a small-town library cat, or any cat, touch the world?

Then I remembered "fup" (his name was never capitalized), the bookstore cat at Powell's City of Books in Portland, Oregon. For years, a "fup story" was featured at the close of every issue of Powell's Books News. A couple of years ago, when the sad announcement came that fup had died of old age in his basket at Powell's Technical Books, I cried. I emailed my daughter, who lives in Portland, and she cried, too. I posted a tribute to fup on Powell's blog, as did hundreds of other mourners from all corners of the globe.

So, remembering fup I can understand how his predecessor, Dewey, touched the world. When still a tiny kitten, Dewey was found shoved into a book return box on a freezing morning in Spencer, Iowa. Dewey's story is told by his "Mom," Vicki Myron, assisted by Bret Witter.

The reader sees Dewey grow and blossom from a kitten to king of the Spencer Library. Myron intersperses Dewey's story with the recovery and growth of Spencer after the depressed farm market of the early 1980's. (Remember Willie Nelson's "Farm Aid" concerts?) She also shares her own life experiences through the Dewey years, giving the reader a true sense of how Dewey touched the world, and, most especially, Vicki Myron.

Dewey, The Small-Town Library Cat is a touching story of the impact animals have on our lives.

I think I'll go pet my cat now.