Sunday, October 5, 2008
Dewey Readmore Books
Must admit...I’m a dog person. But one special yellow cat stole my heart on CBS Sunday Morning.
Dewey Readmore Books was the resident cat at Spencer Public Library, Spencer Iowa after a heartless soul dropped him into the library book return one cold January night in 1988.
Library director, Vicki Myron, a single mother also in a struggle to get back on her feet after a series of tragedies, found him the next morning, hoarse from crying and suffering from frostbite. He stole the hearts of the staff when, despite his discomfort, nudged each one of them in a gesture of thanks. Their decision to adopt him was rewarded by 19 years of loyalty.
A contest was held to pick a name, and Dewey (named after Melvil Dewey of Dewey Decimal System fame) Readmore Books was officially added to the staff. Patrons and friends donated pop cans and money, from as far away as New York, to pay for Dewey's food.
Don’t get me wrong. Dewey was no charity case. As an official library staff member, he had his own job description:
*Reducing stress for all humans who pay attention to him.
*Sitting by the front door every morning at 9:00 am to greet the public as they enter the library.
*Sampling all boxes that enter the library for security problems and comfort level.
*Attending all meetings in the Round Room as official library ambassador.
*Providing comic relief for staff and visitors whenever possible.
*Climbing in book bags and briefcases while patrons are studying or trying to retrieve needed papers underneath him.
*Generating free national and world-wide publicity for Spencer Public Library. (This entails sitting still for photographs, smiling for the camera, and generally being cute.)
*Working toward status as world’s most finicky cat by refusing all but the most expensive, delectable foods—and even turning up his nose at those most of the time.
To read more about Dewey, his incredible journey and lifetime of love, visit:
Spencer Public Library
Milkbone (Mary Cunningham)