The life and tender times of DEWEY!

Last Updated : 30 September 2010, 15:50 IST

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Crammed clumsily into the book drop box on a frost-bitten morning, this handsome gold-dusted kitten, then emaciated and tiny, was found and rescued by the author of this book and director of the library, Vicki Myron.

The library decided to adopt Dewey, little realizing that this decision would so profoundly impact the lives of the denizens of Spencer that this kitten would go on to become a symbol of hope, togetherness and love.

The cover page is enchanting. A cat possessing eyes flecked with smatterings of the loveliest hues of jade, cloaked in robust fur gleaming with orange magic, peers almost regally into the camera, and you know that this is no ordinary feline.

Plodding through the farm crisis of the 1980’s with a sense of purposelessness, the citizens of Spencer, a farming town in Iowa, had nearly lost their zest for survival. The closely knit community that had seen its members through thick and thin was slowly, but surely disintegrating. The library was nothing more than a warehouse where books were kept, that it, until the arrival of Dewey. People from all over Iowa begin to flock to the Spencer library to visit the Dew, and soon the library turns into a centre for integration, attracting old and young alike. Watching the oh so fascinating typewriter clicking away resolutely, or hitching a ride on the book cart, this tomcat had plenty to do at the library, not to mention his main duty of making each visitor feel appreciated and loved. The colossal library, with its tall shelves, comfy couches and thousands and thousands of books, was Dewey’s home for eighteen years.

This is a touching true story of a very special, loving cat, who not only captivated Spencer with purrs, leaps and rubs, but who also went on to change the world around him, one lap at a time.

Vicki Myron’s life underwent a metamorphosis; not a sudden or jerky one, but one inspired and sculpted out of the love, companionship and support of an inimitable and intelligent animal.

This adorable, yet knowing cat was written about in several articles published in newspapers all over the world, was featured in TV shows and movies, had people driving hundreds of miles to meet him, and attained worldwide fame and recognition, but remained an extraordinary cat. Not because he did extraordinary things, but because he was extraordinary.

In this book, the author describes the inexplicably intricate, yet simple bond she shared with Dewey beautifully, and the straightforward language further enhances the charm of the book. The silken corn-stalks of Iowa shimmer vibrantly, and the vivid descriptions of the rural Midwest are quaint.

Teetering precariously towards the all too predictable poignant conclusion, you never quite get there, because you realize that this story will never have an ending. This golden-orange cat continues to live in the hearts of all those whose lives have been touched by his warmth. Read ‘Dewey’ to smile, sob and grin. Read it to be amused, enthralled and touched.

You will fall in love with this tomcat’s endearing antics, his affectionate, amiable heart, his swashbuckling, happy-go-lucky attitude, and most of all, with the Dew himself.

Published 30 September 2010, 15:48 IST

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