Dewey's Nine Lives: The Legacy of the Small-Town Library Cat Who Inspired Millions

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Overview

Nine heartwarming stories about cats - all told from the perspective of "Dewey's Mom," librarian Vicki Myron. The amazing felines in this book include Dewey, of course, and several others who Vicki found out about when their owners reached out to her. Vicki learned how these cats fit into Dewey's community of perseverance and love. From a divorced mother in Alaska who saved a drowning kitten to a troubled Vietnam veteran whose heart was opened by his long relationship with a rescued cat, these stories will ...

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Overview

Nine heartwarming stories about cats - all told from the perspective of "Dewey's Mom," librarian Vicki Myron. The amazing felines in this book include Dewey, of course, and several others who Vicki found out about when their owners reached out to her. Vicki learned how these cats fit into Dewey's community of perseverance and love. From a divorced mother in Alaska who saved a drowning kitten to a troubled Vietnam veteran whose heart was opened by his long relationship with a rescued cat, these stories will inspire readers to believe in the magic of animals to touch individual lives.

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  • Dewey's Nine Lives
    Dewey's Nine Lives  

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

In this standalone sequel to her million copy selling Dewey, Vicki Myron gathers stories about her town's lovable adopted library cat and other felines that have snuggled their ways into our hearts. Inexpensive enough to be a stocking stuffer. The new paperback and NOOK Book editions contain memorable new stories about Dewey.

Publishers Weekly
Dewey Readmore Books, the cat discovered in the book return slot at the Spencer, Iowa, public library that rose to fame in the bestseller Dewey, returns with his latest adventures. A preternaturally charming and lovable cat with a knack for knowing which people need comfort, Dewey touched the hearts of countless readers, many of whom wrote to Myron about their own pets. This book includes the stories of Myron's correspondents and their pets' antics and remarkable feats: we meet a "church cat;" a Florida resort populated by 28 feline guests; the "pantherlike" Spooky who survives an encounter with an owl; and Barbara Lajiness, who battles cancer with the emotional support of her companion, Mr. Kittens. We meet Glenn Albertson, who, after a long string of romantic bad luck, befriends--and later falls in love with--the author, their bond a shared love for cats. Captivating and uplifting, these personal stories will appeal to the legions of Dewey's fans who will be glad for another chance to make his acquaintance. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Following the phenomenal success of Myron's first book, the LJ Best Seller Dewey (2008), people wrote to the former library director to tell her about their own cats, who had been as significant to their lives as Dewey Readmore Books had been to hers. Here, Myron selects nine of those stories, one of which involves Rusty, a cat who brought stability into the life of Glenn Albertson, with whom Myron ended up falling in love. Their household now includes a copper-colored cat named Page Turner, who though not Dewey reincarnated, Myron assures us, is working his magic nonetheless. Actress Andrea Gallo gives an excellent performance of this heartwarming and inspiring story that will be in demand by cat fanciers and library lovers alike. [See Audio NewsBriefs, LJ 11/1/10; "The original volume's numerous fans will be just as taken with this follow-up," read the review of the Dutton hc, LJ 11/15/10.—Ed.]—Nann Blaine Hilyard, Zion-Benton P.L., IL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781410428752
  • Publisher: Gale Cengage Learning
  • Publication date: 10/15/2010
  • Edition description: Large Print Edition
  • Pages: 487
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Vicki Myron

Vicki Myron was born on a farm fifteen miles from Spencer, Iowa. At the age of thirty-four, after a failed marriage, single motherhood, and a stint on welfare, she graduated summa cum laude from Mankato State University and has a masters degree from Emporia State University. She worked at the Spencer Public Library for twenty-five years, the last twenty as director. She lives in Spencer, Iowa.

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Read an Excerpt

Prologue

Dewey

“Thank you, Vicki, and thank you, Dewey. . . . I don’t believe in angels, but Dewey comes close.”
—Christine B., Tampa, FL

I disagree with the person who wrote that letter, because I do believe there are angels walking among us, helping us grow. I believe in “teachable moments,” when we can learn some thing valuable about life if our eyes and hearts are open to the world around us. These angels of opportunity, as I like to think of them, come in all forms. They appear thanks to the important people in our lives, but also through chance meetings and strangers. I believe Dewey Readmore Books, the famous library cat of Spencer, Iowa, was one of those angels. He taught so many lessons, and touched so many lives, that I can’t dismiss it as chance. And I don’t believe in coincidence.

But I know what that young woman is saying. She is saying that Dewey, through his actions and his example, transformed her life. She can’t find the words to describe that power, but she knows it is special.

Well, I have a phrase for it: Dewey’s Magic. It is the phrase I used each time I saw his ability to change the way people thought about themselves. No one saw that Magic more than I, because of all the people in the world, I knew Dewey best and was touched by him most. I’m just an ordinary Iowa girl, the long-serving director of a small-town library less than a dozen miles from the farm where I was born and raised, but for nineteen years I was privileged to share my journey with Dewey. And Dewey . . . he was special. He impacted lives. He inspired a town. He became famous around the world, headlined magazines and newspapers, and was the subject of the #1 New York Times bestselling memoir Dewey, which as “Dewey’s Mommy” I was privileged to write. Dewey’s Magic, that’s what it was. He was just a cat, but he had a way of inspiring our better selves. He made everyone fall in love with him. He touched the world. No one who met him ever forgot Dewey Readmore Books.

His story began quietly, on a brutally cold weekend in January 1988. The temperature was minus fifteen degrees, the kind of cold that burns your lungs and peels the skin from your face (or at least it feels that way). That kind of cold, often accompanied by ferocious winds, is the worst thing about living in the great northern plains.

You learn to tolerate it, but you never adapt. There are times in northern Iowa when it just isn’t wise to go outside.

But despite the deep freeze, someone had been out in downtown Spencer, because at some point that Sunday, a tiny homeless kitten was shoved into the book return slot on the back wall of the Spencer Public Library. I hope it was an act of mercy, that someone saw a tiny eight-week-old, one-pound kitten shivering in the snow and wanted to protect it. If that was the case, they were misguided. The library book return was nothing more than a metal tube that led, after a four-foot drop, into a sealed metal box. In effect, it was a refrigerator. There were no blankets, pads, or soft linings. There was only cold metal. And books. For at least ten hours and maybe as long as twenty- four, little Dewey sat in bitterly cold utter darkness, with nothing to comfort him but books.

I entered the story early Monday morning when I opened the book return box and found the tiny kitten inside. When he looked up longingly into my eyes, my heart stopped. He was so cute . . . and so in need. I cradled him in my hands until he stopped shivering, then gave him a warm bath in the library sink and dried him with the blow-dryer we used for children’s craft projects. That’s when Dewey took over, tottering on frostbitten feet to each person on the library staff and nuzzling them sweetly with his nose.

I decided, right then, that the library should adopt him. It wasn’t just that I fell in love with Dewey the moment he looked at me with his glorious golden eyes. I knew, for those eyes and his determination to thank every staff member for his rescue, that he would fit perfectly into my plan to warm up the cold institutional nature of the Spencer Public Library. He had such a loving and outgoing personality, such a heartwarming presence, that he made everyone feel good.

And at that moment, that’s exactly what Spencer, Iowa, needed. The town was reeling from a farm crisis, with 70 percent of the downtown storefronts empty and farms in the county going bankrupt by the dozen. We needed a feel-good story. We needed something positive to talk about, and a lesson in persistence, hope, and love. If someone could shove a tiny kitten into a dark and freezing metal box, and that kitten could emerge with his trust and compassion intact, then we could endure our misfortunes, too.

But Dewey wasn’t a mascot. He was a flesh-and-blood companion, an animal always open and loving the moment anyone stepped into the library. He warmed hearts one lap at a time, and maybe even more important, he had a knack for knowing who really needed him.

I remember the retired patrons who visited every morning. Many of them started staying longer and talking with the staff more after Dewey arrived.

I remember Crystal, a middle school student with severe physical disabilities who did nothing but stare at the floor until Dewey found her and started jumping onto her wheelchair as she was rolled through the door. Then Crystal started to look at the world around her. She started to make noises every week when she entered the library, and when Dewey came running and leapt on her chair, a smile burst out of her heart.

I remember our new assistant children’s librarian, who had recently moved to Spencer to care for her sick mother. She and Dewey sat together every afternoon. I caught her one day with a tear in her eye and realized how much she had been suffering, and that only Dewey had been there for her.

I remember the shy woman who had trouble making friends. I remember the young man frustrated by his inability to find work. I remember the homeless man who never spoke to anyone but always found Dewey, placed him on his shoulder (the right shoulder of course; Dewey would sit only on your right shoulder), and walked with him for fifteen minutes. The man whispered; Dewey listened. I am convinced of that. And by listening, by being present, he helped them all.

But mostly, I remember the children. Dewey had a special relationship with the children of Spencer. He loved babies. He would creep to their carriers and snuggle beside them, a look of complete contentment on his face, even when they pulled his ears. He let toddlers pet him and prod him and squeal with delight. He befriended a boy with allergies who was heartbroken because he couldn’t have a pet of his own. He spent afternoons with the middle school students who stayed in the library while their parents worked, chasing their pencils and hiding in their jacket sleeves. He would brush by every child at our weekly Story Hour before choosing one lap to curl up on—a different lap, I should mention, every week. Yes, Dewey had catlike habits. He slept a lot. He was picky about being petted on the belly. He ate rubber bands. He attacked typewriter keys (back then, we still had typewriters around) and computer keyboards. He lounged on the copier, because it blew warm air. He climbed on the overhead lights. You couldn’t open a box anywhere in the library without Dewey suddenly appearing and jumping inside. But what he really did was something just as catlike but more profound: He opened the hearts of the people of Spencer, one at a time, to the beauty and love in our wonderful little town in the middle of the great Iowa plains, and to one another.

That was the real Dewey Magic, his ability to spread his joyous, friendly, and relaxed attitude toward life to everyone he met.

The fact that he became famous? That was pure charisma. I intended, of course, for him to become well known in Spencer. I worked hard to help him change the image of the library, to make it a gathering place as opposed to just a warehouse for books. I was amazed that anyone outside northwest Iowa would care. But slowly at first, and then in a torrent, they came, drawn by the story of the special cat who inspired a town. The journalists came first—from Des Moines, England, Boston, and Japan. Then the visitors started to arrive. An older couple from New York on a cross-country drive who, after visiting Dewey, sent money on his birthday and Christmas every year of his life. A family from Rhode Island, who were in Minneapolis (five hours away from Spencer) for a wedding. A sick little girl from Texas who, I was sure, had asked her parents for this one gift. It was amazing to watch the accidental blossoming of fame. People met Dewey; they spent time with him; and they loved him. They went home and told other people about him, and then those people came to visit him, and they left impressed, and the next thing we knew, we were receiving a telephone call from a newspaper in Los Angeles or a news reporter in Australia.

So when Dewey died peacefully at the age of nineteen, having served the community of Spencer and its public library every day with enthusiasm and grace, I wasn’t really surprised that his obituary, first published in Sioux City, ran in more than 275 newspapers. Or that the library received letters by the thousands from around the world. Or that hundreds of fans signed his condolence book and attended an impromptu memorial. For two months, we were besieged by reporters and admirers and requests to talk about Dewey. And then, slowly, the clamor died down. The cameras turned off, and Spencer went back to being the quiet little town it had always been. Those of us who had loved Dewey were, finally, left to our personal grief. Dewey the celebrity was gone; the memories of Dewey our friend remained, held privately in our hearts. When I finally buried Dewey’s ashes outside the window of the children’s section of the library he had loved so much, it was at dawn on a freezing December morning with only the assistant library director at my side. And that’s the way he would have wanted it.

I knew he had left a legacy, because Dewey had changed me. He had changed members of the library staff. He had changed Crystal the disabled girl, and the homeless man, and the children who came each week for Story Hour, many of whom brought their own children to see him in his later years. I knew how important he was because people kept telling me their Dewey stories, confiding in me in a way. In the end, he touched more than the town of Spencer. But it was those of us who had known him and loved him and heard his story that he changed. His legacy would live on in us.

I thought that was it. I really did.

And then something amazing happened. I wrote a book about Dewey, and people around the world responded. The book was meant as a tribute to my friend, a thank-you for his service to Spencer and his impact on my life. I knew he had fans. I thought they might want to read the full story. I was not prepared for the passionate response. So many of the people who attended my book events didn’t just like Dewey, and didn’t just enjoy the book. They loved them both. They felt touched by the story. And they felt changed. I remember one woman in Sioux City who broke down in tears as she told me that her mother, a Spencer piano teacher and church organist, had taken her every Saturday for cinnamon rolls and a trip to the library to see Dewey. Then her mother developed Alzheimer’s and slowly forgot her husband, her children, even her own identity. Her daughter drove two hours from Sioux City to visit her every week, and she always brought her own cat with her. The cat was black and white, nothing like copper-colored Dewey at all, but every week her mother smiled and said, “Oh, it’s Dewey. Thank you for bringing Dewey.” The daughter could barely get those last words out, she was crying so hard.

“I went out in the parking lot after I met you,” she told me some time later, “and sat in my car and cried for fifteen minutes. The tears wouldn’t stop. My mother had been dead for twelve years, but it was the first time I had really cried for her. Thinking about Dewey, remembering how much my mother loved him, was the end of the grieving process.”

The strangest thing? I didn’t know this woman, Margo Chesebro, or her mother, Grace Barlow-Chesebro (although from her daughter’s description of a smart, strong, independent woman who believed in the magic of animals, I’m sure I would have liked her). And yet, they had known and loved Dewey. He had been a regular and important part of their lives, important enough that Grace would somehow retain his memory in her damaged mind, even as she lost forever the names of her children and became convinced her husband was her long-dead brother. There was no way, I realized then, that I could ever truly know the extent of the lives Dewey had touched.

And then there were the people who had never known Dewey, the strangers who were so touched by his story, they felt compelled to write to me. It started almost immediately after the book’s publication. “I’ve never written to an author before but I was so moved by Dewey’s story. . . .” Or, “Dewey was an angel, thank you for sharing him with the world.”

As the months went on, and the book topped the national best- seller lists, the letters became more frequent, until I was receiving dozens every day. After a year, I had received more than three thousand letters, e-mails, and packages, almost all from people who had never heard of Dewey before reading the book. I received a pillow cross-stitched with the image of Dewey from the book’s cover. I received several paintings of him. A former resident of Spencer, who had moved away but had never forgotten, commissioned a sculpture of Dewey for the library. (I knew Dewey’s Magic was at work when I saw where the artist’s studio was located: Dewey, Arizona.) I can’t even count how many drawings, ornaments, and carvings of cats I have received from fans. I have a bookcase in my house just to display them—and it’s overflowing.

One person sent me twenty dollars to buy roses for Dewey. Another sent five dollars to place catnip on his grave. A woman at a call center in Idaho told me that every time someone calls from Iowa, she asks about Dewey, hoping to find someone who knew him. Another man sent a picture of the jar in which he collects spare change. It featured a picture of Dewey. The man was donating his change, from that time forward, to animal rescue.

I read every card, letter, and e-mail. I wanted to respond, but there was no way to keep up with the volume, especially since I was often on the road, meeting Dewey’s fans. (But please rest assured, letter writers, that I bought those roses and that catnip for Dewey’s grave.) The sentiments expressed in the letters, and the way Dewey continued to change people’s lives, touched me more, I suspect, than these fans ever imagined.

A young man who had suffered a devastating divorce and career setback that left him bitter and angry wrote to say that Dewey’s life “opened my heart.”

A woman with severe MS told me how, after reading Dewey, she got down on the floor to kiss the head of the dog that lived in her group home. Afterward, she was unable to get back up without assistance, but she was happy she had done it, because the dog died a week later.

A man in England wrote to say that he had lost his wife several years before. He realized only after he read Dewey that the two cats she left behind—two animals he had resented after her death—had actually carried him through. Without those cats to care for, he wrote, he would have been in a “black depression” he might never have endured.

The letter from a young woman in Florida was typical. Just before reading Dewey, the young woman wrote, she had ended an abusive two-year relationship with a borderline alcoholic that had destroyed her self-respect and forced her into debt and foreclosure. “I felt foolish,” she said, “and most of all, I felt like a failure. Then I read your book.

“Now I’m happy to say,” she continued later, “that I’m starting back to school on Monday. I am focusing on putting the pieces of my life back together. It didn’t happen because of your book, but your book gave me strength, it made me resolute. Most of all, it reminded me that I was not done.

“So thank you, Vicki, and thank you, Dewey. . . . I don’t believe in angels, but Dewey comes close. Even in death, he has touched lives such as my own through you. You were truly blessed to have such a special person in your life, but I don’t have to tell you that. I just know I have been blessed to have Dewey in my life, even if I never met him in person.”

Did I react when I read that letter? Of course. To touch someone so deeply, and to help them see the promise in their life, is a gift I will forever cherish. It makes me proud. And that gift was given to me by Dewey.

Since the publication of the book, I have heard not only from strangers. Old friends and family members who had been lost from my life have reached out to me, too. I’ve met people, such as my co-writer, editors, and agent, who have become true friends. (The illustrator of Dewey’s children’s books was even named Steven James: the same as my beloved brother who died of cancer at twenty-three— Dewey’s Magic again!) I even heard from my ex-husband again. He was a sweet, intelligent man, but he was also a severe alcoholic who did more damage to my life—and his own—than anyone I have ever met. Although we shared a daughter, I hadn’t heard from him in eleven years, until he wrote me a letter after reading the book. He had been sober for a decade. He had married his first childhood sweetheart, and they were living happily in Arizona. He sent me pictures. He looked good. He was always a good-looking man. He looked happy, and so did his wife. He sent me a T-shirt that read “Be careful, or I’ll put you in my novel,” another one of his jokes. There were no hard feelings about the book; it had all been true. “I’m sorry,” he told me simply. And he ended the letter: “I’m proud of you.” I was very proud of him, too.

I have also heard from fellow librarians, from fellow farm kids and native Iowans, from other single mothers and people whose loved ones committed suicide (it was a brother, in my case) and fellow breast cancer survivors. I have heard from women who shared my terrible experience of an unnecessary hysterectomy in the 1970s, including a woman in Fort Dodge, Iowa, whose surgery was performed by the same doctor as mine, at around the same time. “Th e surgery almost killed me,” she told me at a book signing. “I was in a coma for a week. My health, like yours, has never been the same.” We hugged each other. She cried. Sometimes, I’ve realized, it’s nice to know you’re not alone.

Community, we call that. Community. I believe, very strongly, in the power of community, whether it is a physical town, a shared religion, or a love of cats. I believe Dewey is a book about regular people that shows what’s good and possible in ordinary lives, and that this is one of the reasons it has touched so many hearts. People appreciate Spencer, Iowa. They like our cornfields and architecture, and they also like what we represent: simplicity, old-fashioned hard work, but also creativity, commitment, and love. (The doctor who helped with my double mastectomy, Dr. Kohlgraf, told me he was able to finally woo a top surgeon from California to join his practice after twenty years of trying. She had read the book and loved it. She wanted to live in a place like Spencer.) The honesty and the values expressed in the book—“Find your place. Be happy with what you have. Treat everyone well. Live a good life. It isn’t about material things; it’s about love. And you can never anticipate love.”—transcend boundaries. I’m talking international boundaries, too. Dewey’s story has been a bestseller in England, Brazil, Portugal, China, and Korea. I’ve been invited for appearances in Turkey. A man from Milan, Italy, came to Spencer just to see the town where Dewey lived. People all over the world have told me they are coming to visit the famous Spencer, Iowa, and more important, they are keeping the book and passing it down to future generations as a family heirloom. Do you think it’s because they care so much about my story? No. Of course not. They want to share the power of love that is woven into the pages.

They want to experience, in other words, the Magic of a special animal named Dewey Readmore Books, a cat that somehow, from inside the walls of a small Iowa library, managed to touch the world. As I said at the beginning, all of this is for and because of Dewey. There would have been no book without him. As the young woman from Florida wrote, each reader of the book experienced Dewey’s Magic in their own lives, even though they never met him in person.

So Dewey lives! Even though he has gone, he lives as a memory, a reminder, an example of what’s right in the world. Most importantly, I realized as I read letters day after day, he lives in all the other animals that share his tenderness, playfulness, attentiveness, and devotion. My favorite fact from the letters was that 30 percent came from male fans, including two cat-loving sheriffs, and they all started “I’m sure you never receive any letters from men. . . .” Don’t worry, real men love cats, too! But the most important thing I read over and over again was this: Dewey touched my heart, because he reminded me of my own pet.

Slowly, it dawned on me that Dewey had tapped into the deep love people around the world feel for their animals. And that Dewey, the book, had given these people something just as important: a way to share that love. In a way, I think, the book made it acceptable to tell a stranger, even if that stranger was only me: “I love my cats. They are important. They are my friends. They’ve changed my life. When they die, I miss them terribly.” As a young man wrote, after telling me of how broken he felt after a difficult divorce and how his two cats had been the only bright spot in an otherwise dismal time:

At first I thought to myself, my God, how can I love two animals so much? There must be something wrong with me. My life must be so empty. I was embarrassed to admit to myself how important these cats were in my life. Then I read your book and realized there was nothing wrong with loving an animal to the depths that I do. In a way, your book made it okay for me to love my cats the way I do and it made it okay for me to explore our love further, to deepen our relationship and intertwine our lives even more.
Thank you.

For so long, the word people conjured when they heard about a deep relationship between a cat and a person was: sad. But I was passionate about my cat. And I wasn’t the only one. Not even close. I think Dewey, through his generosity of spirit and endearing personality—through the Magic of his life in a small-town library— became a symbol of that vital connection so many human beings feel with the animals in their lives.

In Dewey’s Nine Lives, you will read nine stories of extraordinary cats and the people who loved them. Three of the chapters are set in or around Spencer, Iowa, and feature Dewey stories that didn’t make it into the first book—because I didn’t know of them at the time. The other six stories are about people who wrote to me after reading Dewey. They are the purest of contributors: fans who wrote only to express their admiration and love for Dewey and their own animals, expecting nothing in return.

Are these the best stories that could have come out of those three thousand letters? I don’t know. In most cases, after all, I was reacting to a sentence or two.

“We housed homeless and abused cats on a foster home basis. . . .”

“He survived a coyote attack, a smack by a bear, walking thirty miles to return to me after a vindictive woman took him to another place just to hurt me.”

“I have never been loved by anyone, not even my daughter or my parents, the way I have been loved by my Cookie.”

When my co-writer and I followed up on the letters with phone calls, we heard stories about people and cats that were completely unexpected. Some were better. Some worse. All were genuine, heartfelt stories about real people and their animals. After Dewey, people advised me to write about the cat found in a sofa donated to the Goodwill, or the burned cat they saw on the local news, or the one-eyed, lop-eared cat that lived his whole life in a Chicago beer bar. But I thought: Why? What’s the connection with Dewey? Those are cute stories, but where is the love? If I’m going to tell other stories, I want them to be based on the same foundation as Dewey: the special bond between a cat and a person. I wanted to write stories about people whose lives had been changed by their love for their cat.

The people in this book don’t think of themselves as heroes. They didn’t do anything, as I like to say, that would get them on the Today show or the morning news. They are ordinary people, leading ordinary lives, with ordinary animals. I can’t tell you if theirs are the best stories in those letters, but I can assure you of this: I like every person in this book. They are the kind of people I grew up with in Spencer, and they are the kind of people I want as my friends. Together with their cats, they embody everything I believe Dewey stood for: kindness, perseverance, morality, hard work, and the strength to always, no matter what the circumstances, stay true to your values and yourself. If the resonance of Dewey’s story was based in part on its values, then I wanted these people to reflect those values, too. And I think they do. I am proud to have gotten to know every one of them.

I can’t tell you that you will like every action taken by the people in this book. You will not, because I don’t agree with some of them myself. As hard as I try, for instance, I cannot condone the fact that some people don’t have their cats spayed sooner. I just can’t. Others let their cats roam outside, even though it is well known that this shortens their life expectancy. Some cats might seem too pampered, or smothered, or anthropomorphized. I know there will be objections. After all, I received hate mail after my first book because I let Dewey eat Arby’s Roast Beef sandwiches in his last year of life. I loved that cat with all my heart; I gave everything I could to him; he lived nineteen wonderful years—nineteen!—and yet people still harassed me and called me a murderer because, at the end of his life, in an act of mercy that tore the heart right out of my chest, I put him to sleep.

If you feel the temptation to criticize, please stop and think of this: Every person in this book loved their animals, fiercely and deeply. Every one of them acted in the best interest, as they understood it, of the animals they loved. If they made decisions you disagree with, that is not an indictment of their character. They are simply different from you. Or they lived in a different time, with a different understanding of how animals and people thrive together. Or, very often, both. No story has been changed for this book. Nothing has been glossed over. This is not The Cat Whisperer or a guide to kitten care. This is a collection of stories about the way real cats and real people live.

This book is not Dewey: The Sequel, nor is it meant to be. There is only one Dewey (the book), just as there is only one Dewey (my amazing cat). But there are thousands of stories. There are millions of cats that could, if given the chance, change a life. They are out there, living with the people featured in this book and millions of others like them. They are also out there in much worse circumstances: in rescue shelters, in feral cat colonies, or fighting for survival alone on the frozen streets, waiting for their chance.

Of all the lessons I’ve learned over the past twenty years, perhaps the most important is this: Angels come in all forms. Love can arrive from anywhere. One special animal can change your life. He can change a town. In a small way, he can change the world.

And so can you.

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Table of Contents

Prologue: Dewey 9

1 Dewey and Tobi 33

2 Mr. Sir Bob Kittens (aka Ninja, aka Mr. Pumpkin Pants) 74

3 Spooky 113

4 Tabitha, Boogie, Gail, BJ, Chimilee, Kit, Miss Gray, Maira, Midnight, Blackie, Honey Bunny, Chazzi, Candi, Nikki, Easy, Buffy, Prissy, Taffy … and more 163

5 Christmas Cat 202

6 Cookie 264

7 Marshmallow 313

8 Church Cat 355

9 Dewey and Rusty 392

Acknowledgments 481

Animals In Need 483

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 53 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(29)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(10)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 53 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2012

    I LOVED THE BOOK ABOUT DEWEY

    Ever since i read the book about dewey ,i think about how my grandpa resuced lucky girl . He found her on his birthday and how he was going to put her down but the vet gave her food and water from a eyedropper. That saved her life now she is att the shop in his office and is loved by everyone ( including me.)

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2012

    Dewey's story

    I thouht this book was very touching in quite a few ways. From the beginning to the end, it can entertain, inspire, and it can give you the chance to relate to characters. If you are in love with cats, libraries, and reading you will love this story, and Dewey Readmore Books.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 16, 2011

    Touching

    Touching, heartfelt, and warm hardly do this book justice.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Sweet Continuation of the Inspiration of Dewey the Cat

    Just so you know...I cry a lot through books about how an animal can make you feel, their inspiration, and their complete and total unconditional love to us, but it's such a good cry. I just love to be reminded of how incredibly important animals can be in our lives and how they deserve our mutual love, respect, and protection. An animal can't speak for themselves and tell you what's right and what's wrong, or what hurts. We have to do that for them, to help them, and care for them, to stand up for them when something is wrong or inhumane. But sometimes it's forgotten what an animal's love can do for them, the inspiration that they can provide.

    Dewey's Nine Lives reminds you that the magic of an animal's love and devotion can be found everywhere, not just in one library in Spencer, Iowa -- but one little cat named Dewey had such an amazing story that it brought out the personal stories of people with their own cats, in such an incredible outpouring of love, inspiration, and most especially, the amazing bond one can have with their precious pets.

    Dewey's Nine Lives is such a feel good book that reminds us of the importance of animals in our lives, perfect for the holidays!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2013

    Thank you Vicki Myron this is my absolutaley favorite book in the world.

    I hope Vicki Myron is reading this because I want hear to hear what I want to say to her. This is my favorite book in the world. I was so surprised that Dewey was a little kitten that was in a metal drop box in the coldest day of the year and was in metal. I wish that I could see Dewey but I know he walks in every one's heart. I love Dewey and I love his mother Vicki Myron. I LOVE DEWEY!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2013

    Why does dewey have to die :(

    Dewey is a small town cat who was found and kept by a library owner named vicky. She kept him and let him stay at the library. She loved that cat almost more than anything. But will dewey soon loose his 9 lives?

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2013

    A little sad

    If
    I were you insted of this sad book read dewey the library cat

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 15, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Inspirational and funny too!

    After the first book about Dewey, Dewey's mom, Vicki Myron started to hear from all over abuot some other Amazing Cats! In this book she narrates just nine of the incredible stories she was told and also includes some more details about Dewey that didn't make the first book. Vicki took time to interview everyone involved with these cats to find out just how special these cats were and that like Dewey had a strong perseverance and capacity for love. The stories range from a cat found drowning on Christmas Eve to a Ninja kitty and more. This is an enjoyable book especially for cat enthusiasts who understand that cats are the bosses and mere humans are their pets. Each of these stories will touch your hearts or tickle your funny bone, sometimes both. Each chapter is an entirely new story with Dewey's compassion interwoven seamlessly throughout. The stories are truly inspirational and remarkably different. Any pet lover knows the unconditional love affair between a pet and their human and included in this book of just 9 stories when there could have been hundreds. I don't think this will be the last we will here from these authors or Dewey. Oh, and if you think you are not a cat lover, stop by any humane society and cuddle with one or two, it could change your life. Be sure to check out Dewey's webpage and check out the children's books too. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Dutton, a division of Penguin Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 15, 2010

    Moving stories of cats and their people

    Dewey's Nine Lives by Vicki Myron & Bret Witter is a collection of stories perfect for fans of Dewey or any animal lover. Dewey Readmore Books, the library cat from Spencer, Iowa gained international fame even before his death, but with the release of a book about his life in 2008, the author heard from cat lovers all over the world with stories of how Dewey touched their life or how their cat was special like Dewey. She read through all of these letters and chose a few to contribute to this collection of true stories of amazing cats, and there are a few more stories of Dewey for fans. I am a sucker for stories about animals, though I never read the original book about Dewey. Myron fills in new readers with enough back story to make them comfortable and want to read the first book as well! The stories of people whose lives were changed or even in some cases saved by cats are poignant, humorous, shocking, and inspiring. From Spooky who was nearly killed by an owl as a kitten then bitten by coyotes and swatted by a bear to Christmas Cat who almost drowned in a toilet on Christmas Eve and was hand fed and cared for by his non-cat-loving new owner. These are stories about real people, the ones who live on your street or in your building, and they aren't the kind stereotyped as "cat" people, but their stories are amazing. This is a feel-good read for animal lovers, and those who fell in love with Dewey's owner Vicki Myron will be glad to read about her own happy ending as well.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 29, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Nice stories...

    This story is a continuation in part of the life of Dewey, the small town library cat. It is also stories of other cats and how they impacted the lives of their people. I won't say owner because we all know that no one ever really owns a cat.

    These wonderful stories are heart warming stories sent to the author after they read the story of Dewey, and they then usually shared how Dewey touched their lives, and how their own cats touched their lives. I enjoyed each and every story, but one story was particularly special to me and that was the story of the Church Cat. (Chapter eight) Imagine my surprise as I started reading the story and recognized that the town and the church mentioned is a church where a dear friend's husband pastors. While they were not at this church during the time of the Church Cat, they too recognized the names of the people in the story. It truly made the story special to me. I also enjoyed the very last story of how the author met her husband and the cats in their lives.

    A wonderful book, with lots of giggles at the antics of the cats. You will truly enjoy this compilation of kitty stories. 300 pages U.S. $19.95 hardback, 4 stars.

    To learn more about Dewey the library cat check out the website deweyreadmorebooks dot com

    This book was provided for review purposes only, no payment was received for this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2010

    A darling book!!

    A darling book!! And I am NOT a cat lover!!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 4, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    If you love cats check this out!

    Dewey was a cat that lived in the library in Spencer, Iowa and he loved everyone and everyone loved him. He had lived nineteen years when he died and people over over the world heard about him and mourned his lost. He was always there to welcome everyone, big, small, rich or poor, he didn't care. He just had a way with him that drew people to Dewey. There have been other books written about him and so this one will be for sale Oct. 12, 2010 and I am sure that anyone that loves cats will want a copy.

    Dewey could make a homeless person feel as though he had a home for a little while, he would follow some people around the library in search of that one book, they needed or he would just sit with someone and that just wants to read a newspaper.

    Dewey Captured America's heart as they read the stories about him and also form the people themselves that he helped just by being there.

    The Advance Reading Copy of the book was sent to me for review by Anne Staszalek, Marketing Associate, The Book Report Network,

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2014

    Butter cat19

    It is great buy for any animal lover!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2013

    Dewy

    I LOVE DEWY!!!!!!!!! and thats all. Oh, the book was really good. I even had a few sniffles! I loved it.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 2, 2012

    Interesting Book

    I liked the original book "Dewey The Library Cat" better than this one. I felt this one had too much talking about other stuff and not pet related stuff. It was still an okay read.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2012

    Best book i've ever read

    Dewey is so cute i wish he was my cat

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2012

    Cats r awesome

    I mean it

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 4, 2011

    Cats

    Cats r awesome cuz they learn it from me lol jk its @ good book

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 2, 2011

    Hi

    I think people should wright it short and seit

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 19, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I loved it!!!!!!!

    An amazing book! It was truely touchng and inspirational. While it was not as good as Dewey it was an extremely good book. This book is great for everyone of all ages. From young adults to their grandparents this is an amazing book! Buy it. Read it. Love it.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 53 Customer Reviews

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