Sunday, January 11, 2009

Guest Blog - Dewey

At first glance Dewey may appear to be a book that only cat lovers and owners would enjoy. However, the book is more than the biography of an orange cat who came to live in the library. Vicki Myron with Bret Witter also tells the story of her own life with its many challenges and successes. Besides her story and Dewey’s, she relates the struggles of small towns and family farmers in the Midwest.

On a cold morning in January 1988, Myron and a co-worker found an abandoned kitten in the metal book drop box of their library in Spencer, Iowa. He was a fragile little animal with frost bitten paws and so filthy they had no idea that he was a long haired marmalade cat. The staff of the library decided to keep this tiny stray and soon called him Dewey (as in the library numbering system) Readmore Books. It also is a good question for a librarian to ask.

Since the Blogger happens to be a librarian, I found it interesting to read about Myron’s own journey to become a librarian and to read about her strong feelings about what role a library should play in a community. For example, she told about a neighboring town whose library loaned cake pans in different shapes and forms. You could check out a pan that looked like Garfield or a school bus, I suppose. Dewey himself turned out to be a draw that brought people who had never visited into the library. In fact he turned into a national celebrity.

Even though I knew the outcome of this story (after all cats rarely live to be twenty), I enjoyed following Dewey’s and Myron’s progress through the years. I also appreciated the intimate look at the demise of farms, small schools and even small towns as the nation moved from a rural society to an urban one. I have traveled past cornfields and sunflowers for as far as the eye can see while crossing our nation by automobile, but I have never got out to really look at the corn. Myron says it grows to be ten feet tall in Iowa.

By the way, we happen to have two cats. One we rescued from a shelter. The other is a throw away cat that no one wanted. They have very different personalities. One is a bully who nips at me. The other is a snuggler who touches his nose to mine. Dewey reminded me a lot of the cats I have known in my life. Thank goodness none of them had an addiction to eating rubber bands as Dewey did. You’ll have to read this feel good book to discover more about him. This is not a classic but I think you might enjoy it.

1 comment:

Wanna-Be Lit said...

I wonder which cat is which? :)