Catch Up With Author Vicki Myron

Discover the story behind the author of books on Dewey the library cat, including her most recent story "Dewey's Nine Lives."

By Tiffany Lin

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Author Vicki Myron and library cat Dewey
Author Vicki Myron and cat Dewey
What was your inspiration behind the book?
The mail that came in — it’s still coming in to this day. These were letters from people who were touched by the first book. These people had so many stories to share, and I thought it was important to carry on Dewey’s legacy by talking about other cats touching people’s lives.

What is a favorite memory that you have of Dewey?
It’s so hard to choose just one; he was an amazing cat and great friend for years. I’ll always remember the first morning with him. I had put him in a bath, and he was shivering and looking up at me with his big eyes. Then he started purring, and I just knew he was special.

My second favorite memory is of him waving at me in the mornings. He would only do this for me. It brightened up my day whenever I would come in, sleepy and cold. He would always cheer me up.

What was the most rewarding part about writing the book?
It was a wonderful way to honor his life — telling the story aloud, all the history behind Spencer. It was cathartic to me to talk about his life and his death. This was very healing for me.

What was the most difficult part about writing the book?
Trying to remember everything — I had things written down and had all these pictures, but trying to put things in perspective was the hardest part. But they were great memories, and it was fun to talk it out and remember all the stories with the rest of the staff. But I had talked a lot about him already, so the book was just an extension of the stories — in a larger format.

In your book, you mention “Dewey’s Magic” — his ability to profoundly impact someone’s life. What is one example of this that you’ve witnessed?
There was a disabled girl, Crystal, who would visit the library. I was around to see it; he’d look at her, and she’d just beam with a smile that would light up the room. They had such a remarkable relationship. I’d never seen [Dewey’s Magic] happen so quickly — with such a little girl in a wheelchair who never looked up nor spoke to anyone. The moment he jumped up onto her tray, it was instantaneous. It was magical to see. Today, she still can’t speak, but she interacts with people a lot more.

Tell us about your relationship with Dewey.
We had so many great times together. Dewey had a sense of humor.
When he was young, he would always get into the lobby, and he only listened to me — not the staff — to call him back in. One time, I was having a busy morning, and one of the staff told me that Dewey was out in the lobby again. I walked out there, still really focused, and opened the lobby door without really looking around. I said to Dewey, “You get in here right now, young man!” And there was a man in his 20s — I hadn’t noticed him standing in the lobby until this moment — he jumped up, came into the library and grabbed a newspaper. The smirk on Dewey’s face was priceless. He walked back in there with a smug smile and a look that said, “You go, mom!”

Do you currently own any pets? Tell us about them.
We have a cat, Page Turner, who looks a lot like Dewey but acts nothing like him. We had put a picture [of this cat] on our website, and one of Dewey’s fans said, “Why don’t you name her Page — like turning a new page [after Dewey’s death].”

After a visit to the vet, we found out that Page was actually a boy! So we changed his name to Page Turner. He’s shy, but he’s a very funny, sweet little boy. He makes us laugh a lot.

What is one lesson you’ve learned from cats?
Touch is so important — even if it’s between a human and an animal. Touch is so important to relay comfort. A cat sits on you, and it’s so comforting. I’ve certainly seen the healing power of cats.

If you could tell your readers one thing, what would it be?
There are a lot of animals out there that can have Dewey’s Magic if you just look for it. Some cats and dogs do have souls. There are so many stories about cats and dogs that have saved lives; I’m continually assured by this.

Are you planning on writing any more books?
Maybe — we’ve discussed a bit about doing another children’s books about Dewey. We’re happy with the three we’ve written, but I’d like to write two or three more. I didn’t know how much I liked writing until I started the first project.
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