Happy news about animals
By Craig Wilson
When Spencer, Iowa, librarian Vicki Myron wrote about an orange tabby kitten who came to live at her library one winter’s day in 1988, little did she know she would have a best seller on her hands. Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World (2008) has sold more than 1 million copies and is being adapted into a movie to star Meryl Streep. Myron, 62, is back with Dewey’sNine Lives (Dutton, $19.95, on sale Tuesday ), filled with stories Dewey fans tell about their own cats. USA TODAY’s Craig Wilson chatted with the author.
Q: Were you surprised by people’s reaction to Dewey’s story?
A: Well, I was, in a way. I knew it was good. I knew people would react to it. But I didn’t realize I would have so many different reactions. Women who were single. Lots of men responded. And children, too. Boys, actually.
Q: How many letters did you get from people touched by Dewey?
A: I don’t have a clue. Thousands. I’m still getting them. I’m hearing from all over the world. I get regular mail and e-mail. It never stops.
Q: What was the main theme of these letters?
A: Two different things. How much Dewey’s story touched them. They passed the story down the generations. And how much it touched them regarding their own animals. Ninety percent said they’d never written a author before.
Q: How did you decide what to include in this new book?
A: It was difficult. We had thousands of very good stories. We had a variety of happy ones, sad ones and unusual ones. It was a great mixture. Then there were some new stories about Dewey, too, so I included those.
Q: Do you have a favorite story in this new volume?
A: I do. A Vietnam vet came back with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and was disconnected from the world. He had a kitten dropped on the roof of his car by an owl and through the cat he reconnected with society again. It made a huge change in his life. I love the story.