Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Dewey - Vicki Myron (with Bret Witter)

Dewey was a cat. Found as a kitten in the book drop of the public library in Spencer Iowa, he was raised by the librarian and staff, adopted by the town and went on the become famous worldwide for being… well… a cat in a library.

Anyone who knows me, knows I have a thing for cats. We had two of our own until this year. So reading a book like this (something I would not normally do) was… challenging. The loss of our two is still raw and reading of Dewey’s last days was not easy.

Having said that, I enjoyed the book. For two reasons. Firstly it’s about a cat and the people whose lives were improved by his presence. Cats can do that if you let them. They live life on their terms, but they are also sensitive to our emotions. Secondly, given the circumstances of Vicki Myron’s life, this could so easily have been one of those awful misery memoirs. It wasn’t. There have been hardships aplenty in her life, but this book is a celebration of a relationship that helped her through the bad times. It is a celebration of simple virtues – of love, trust, and community. And it’s not spread on thick with a trowel, either.

Refreshing to read of a celebrity whose life brought warmth to others and in return asked only for a bit of yarn to play with, a box to sleep in, and reserved the right (as nearly all cats do) to be picky about his food.