I’ve been eyeballing this book with the adorable orange kitty on the cover for a very long time. Finally I couldn’t take it anymore, and I needed something new to read. This is a dramatic re-enactment of what I look like about 10 pages in:
For those who have no idea what I’m talking about:
Dewey was a library cat, which is exactly what it sounds like. Cat Channel dot com gives a brief history of cats living in libraries; a tradition which seems to date back all the way to Ancient Egypt:
Throughout the ages, library cats have upheld literary works, inspired reading and literacy programs, boosted librarian morale and befriended patrons. Experts trace the origins of library cats to ancient times, when Herodotus reported the existence of libraries in Egyptian temples. While many felines prowled the fields of early Egypt protecting crops, others underwent special training to stop rodents and serpents from infesting houses and temples, where preserved papyrus has since been unearthed.
So I found that background pretty interesting. But, back to Dewey. His story begins on a cold morning in January. The librarians of Spencer Public Library have just begun their day when they hear a strange noise coming from the after hours drop box. It sounds like an animal. Fearing some wild creature, Vicki Myron peeks cautiously into the box and is startled by what she finds there. Huddled in a corner, frozen and scared, is a tiny kitten. After a warm bath in the office sink, Dewey feels a little better and begins purring and rubbing his face on anyone who will let him. His paws remain injured from frost-bite for his first week or so at the library, but that doesn’t stop him from exploring his surroundings and getting to know any and everyone he can. The staff and patrons immediately fall in love with him and it is decided he will stay. They name him Dewey Readmore Books after the Dewey Decimal System. From young to old, Dewey is loved by and inspires everyone he meets. Yes, it’s a mushy pet story book… and it’s wonderful. Go read it!
There is also a children’s picture book version, Dewey: There’s a Cat in the Library!
Ugh, now I want a cat for our library SO BAD.
PS: I found this Google Map of all the library cats around the world. Apparently a good number of libraries still have them! Pretty cool!