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‘Dewey’ author turns the page for new cat

Vicki Myron, author of the best-selling book "Dewey, The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World" intended to wait a year or two before getting another cat, but that changed after a chance encounter.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Vicki Myron intended to wait a year or two before getting another cat.

Her best-selling book, "Dewey, The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World," was keeping her on the road most of the time and she didn't have time for a pet.

An orange and white kitten found on a snow-covered road changed her mind.

"I fell in love instantly," Myron says.

Chance encounter
The little tabby was found Dec. 16 by Sue Selzer, who works for the school district in Myron's northwest Iowa hometown of Spencer.

"I was out and about and met a truck that swerved in the road," Selzer says. "I saw something and thought it was some garbage or something but when I got close I saw it was a kitten."

Selzer pulled into a parking lot, then walked into the street to pick up the cat.

"It was snowing quite heavily and she was covered in snow. She had ice chunks hanging from her. She had twigs and leaves tangled in her fur," Selzer says. "I took her back to my office and dried her off, put some warm water on her and cleaned her up."

Two days later, she took the cat to the Spencer Public Library, where Myron was meeting with a Japanese television crew working on a show about Myron and Dewey.

Myron's book (written with Bret Witter) chronicles the life of Dewey and the Iowa farm town of about 11,000, where Dewey had served as house cat in the library ever since Myron plucked him from a book deposit ban on a frigid January morning in 1988.

Dewey Readmore Books, named after the Dewey Decimal System used by libraries to catalog books, quickly became famous in Spencer and attracted attention worldwide. He died on Nov. 29, 2006. A granite marker sits outside the library, where his ashes were buried beneath the lawn.

A new 'Page'
Myron named the new kitten Page.

"That was from a fan whose son suggested that name because I'm turning over a new page in my life," says Myron.

The library, where Myron served as director for about 20 years before retiring last year, has decided not to adopt Page as its new boarder. Kay Larson, the library's current director, says the board will discuss getting a new cat at its Jan. 8 meeting.

Myron said that since she took Page in, the kitten has thrived.

"She's a sweet, loving cat, very affectionate, very easy going," she says. "She's definitely a girl but eats like a pig, probably because she was a street cat that probably had to fend for herself."

Although her book, which reached No. 1 on The New York Times list of nonfiction best sellers earlier this year and remains at No. 2, has kept Myron on the road promoting her work, she didn't hesitate taking the kitten.

"I knew if the right one came along at the right time I'd get one, but I was hoping it would be a couple of years down the road because I'm not around much," she says. "But here she is. We kind of found each other."