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Dewey: A Small Town, a Library and the World's Most Beloved Cat Hardcover – 19 Feb 2009

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (19 Feb. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340953942
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340953945
  • Product Dimensions: 15.8 x 22.5 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 582,026 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


A HUGELY ENJOYABLE true story of how one adorable library cat touched the lives of everyone who met him on (Australian Women's Weekly)

Even confirmed cat-haters would warm to the true story of Dewey... Far more than just a cute cat book, it is a real feel good story about the whole community whose lives Dewey touched (The Bookseller)

'heart-warming' ***** (Star Magazine)

feelgood feline biography (Evening Standard)

An irresistible story... It has a heroine, Vicki, who beautifully relates her own experiences... This is a wonderful book beacuse it isn't really about Dewey. He is merely the bouncing, orange, ever-loving thread that holds the story together. It is about the foibles of small-town America and the people who live there - it's Peyton Place with a cat.... Dewey wins hearts and minds like George W.Bush never could. (Daily Mail)

Book Description

The story of how one adorable and lovably roguish library cat touched the lives of everyone he came into contact with. Dewey will do for cats what MARLEY AND ME did for dogs.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke TOP 500 REVIEWER on 17 Sept. 2008
Format: Hardcover
Remember Marley: A Dog Like No Other, a canine greatly loved by his master? Well, here is Dewey, an abandoned orange kitten not only beloved by his mistress but by the entire town of Spencer, Iowa.

Dewey's origins were questionable as was his introduction to library director Vicki Myron. January 18, 1988 was a frigid Monday in Spencer. "It was a killing freeze, the kind that made it almost painful to breathe." When Vicki arrived at the library that morning her assistant told her she had heard a noise coming from a metal slot, the library's after-hours drop box behind the building. Soon, they both heard the noise and thought it was an animal. The opening of the box was only a few inches wide, so whatever it was had to be very small. Being metal the box was even colder than it was outside, and there in a corner of the box was a tiny kitten.

It was the most pitiful thing she had ever seen, so thin she could see every rib, and she could feel its heart beating, its lungs pumping. "The poor kitten was so weak it could barely hold up its head, and it was shaking uncontrollably. It opened its mouth, but the sound which came two seconds later, was weak and ragged." But one look into his big eyes and she was Dewey's and he was hers.

Dewey was not the only one who had endured hardship - Vicki was a single mom who had lost the family farm and survived an abusive husband. The people of Spencer were going through tough times during the farm crisis of that time. Depression, ennui seemed to be everywhere.

Nonetheless, Vicki was determined to capture the interest of those who came to the small library and hopefully make them a little happier. With the help of Dewey she did that and more.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Moonrising on 26 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback
On first reading this book I probably would have given it a 4, maybe a 5. It is a great story of how much good an animal can do, and includes a lot of funny stories about that animal. The `extras' about life in a small town and the life of the author are also interesting. While reading it though I was puzzled as to why a confident, outgoing cat should so take against his vet, and why he was so traumatised by his adventure outside. I also found the author went on a bit about how deep their relationship was, which got tiresome for me.

It was only while looking for clips of Dewey that I found out the fact that's conveniently left out. If you don't believe me, it's stated on the Spencer Library website and elsewhere: Dewey was declawed. For those that don't know, this means that only a short while after his poor frostbitten paws were healed, he was taken to the vet and the first joint of each of his toes was amputated. This was done at the same time as he was neutered. Re-reading this section of the book with this knowledge it is sort of there: before the op the author includes a touching paragraph about his paws, and afterwards he's described hobbling around in pain (male cats who've just been neutered can generally walk just fine). She then goes on to how him hobbling to her shows how strong their bond is...

While it seems Dewey did escape the most horrific side effects (behavioural and physical) that this operation can have, and healed well, it does explain why he should be so terrified of the vet afterwards (declawing is much more painful and traumatic than being neutered) and why he should have found himself so helpless to defend himself when he got out. It also may have contributed to his arthritis in old age.

I don't want to paint Vicki as a monster.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 1 Mar. 2009
Format: Hardcover
"Crystal was one of the more disabled members of the (special education) group. She was a beautiful girl of about eleven, but she had no speech and very little control of her limbs. She was in a wheelchair, (which) had a wooden tray on the front. When she came into the library, her head was always down and her eyes were staring at that tray ... she didn't move. It was like she wasn't even there ... Then one week Dewey jumped on Crystal's wheelchair tray. Crystal squealed. She had been coming to the library for years ... That squeal was the first sound I ever heard her make ... Dewey started visiting Crystal every week ... Whenever she saw Dewey, Crystal glowed. Her eyes had always been blank. Now they were on fire ... Once her wheelchair was parked, he jumped on her tray, and happiness exploded from within her. She started to squeal, and her smile, you couldn't believe how big and bright it was. Crystal had the best smile in the world ... one day she looked up and made eye contact with me. She was overcome with joy, and she wanted to share the moment with someone, with everyone. This from a girl who for years never lifted her eyes from the floor ... I can't imagine Crystal's life ... But I know that whenever she was in the Spencer Public Library with Dewey, she was happy." - Author Vicki Myron in DEWEY

On the bitterly cold morning of January 18, 1988, the director of the public library in Spencer, Iowa, Vicki Myron, discovered a shivering, terrified, and half-frozen kitten in the library's book drop-off box. On November 29, 2006, Vicki cradled Dewey, who was by then suffering from incurable stomach cancer, as he was euthanized by the local veterinarian.
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