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The Library Cat That Gained Fame

On a cold January night in 1988, a kitten was put into the book drop return of the Spencer Public Library in Spencer, Iowa. When the staff found him the next morning, they decided to adopt him. With the approval of both the library’s board of trustees and the city council, the feline was officially adopted. He was taken to the vet to be neutered and get the proper vaccinations, and then it was time for a name. A contest was held to pick a name, and Dewey Readmore Books was officially added to the library staff. The staff cared for Dewey and donated their soda cans to feed him. Patrons and friends from as far away as New York also donated money for Dewey’s feeding and care. He was featured in Country Magazine and Cat Fancy Magazine and made appearances on local television stations. His picture was even included on books and postcards. Dewey passed away on November 29, 2006 due to complications from a stomach tumor, passing away in the arms of the library's director, Vicki Myron. He had just celebrated his 19th birthday. His obituary was featured in over 270 newspapers worldwide. In 2008, Myron published a book on Dewey's life — Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World — which became a New York Times number one nonfiction bestseller.