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Catisfaction guaranteed; Feelgood story about library's pet becomes bestseller HOW GINGER MOGGY DEWEY BECAME A WORLD STAR.

Byline: By Annie Brown

HE may look like an average ginger moggy but Dewey is the cat who not only got the cream, he reached the top of the bestseller list.

Dewey: The Small Town Library Cat Who Touched The World is one of a wave of pet memoirs spawned by the success of Marley And Me.

The literary fraternity were shocked when this innocuous little book sparked a major bidding war among top publishers, with a New York company closing the deal for more than pounds 750,000.

Like Marley And Me, Dewey has become a publishing phenomenon, reaching No1 in the New York Times bestseller list and shifting more than amillion copies.

The success has made its author, former librarian Vicky Myron, a celebrity and a millionaire.

She said: "I knew he had a story to tell all along. Dewey's story is timeless. It's a tale of survival and triumph over adversity. I wanted both his fans and those who never knew him to be inspired and love him as I did."

Marley And Me has become a hit movie starring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson, and Dewey also has a film deal with Meryl Streep tipped as the lead.

Dewey was a fluffy orange cat who lived for 19 years in a library and, when he died, more than 250 obituaries mourned his loss.

When he first arrived at the the Spencer Public Library in a small town in Iowa, his future fame could never have been predicted.

It was the coldest night of the year when the frozen kitten was discovered stuffed into the returned book slot at the library.

Vicky said: "I pulled him out, bathed him to get him warm, and fell in love. He was the perfect addition to my plans to make the library warm and friendly."

Vicky and the staff adored the shivering little bundle and adopted him as the library cat.

The city council approved a decision to allow the cat to remain at the library.

He was named after the Dewey decimal system used to catalogue books and lived at the library until his death last November.

Vicky said: "The most amazing thing about him was how happy he was that first day.

"No matter how many times we passed him from hand to hand, he was never jumpy or fidgety. He never tried to bite or get away. He just melted into each person's arms and stared up into their eyes."

As local newspapers and networks started to pick up the story of Dewey, he developed a huge fanbase that stretched across the globe.

He got thousands of letters and cards and Spencer became famous for its library cat.

Visitors would travel from across the world to visit the little farming town and its famous moggy.

For Vicky, Dewey was a lucky find for personal reasons, because she had her own frailties.

She was a single mother who had escaped an alcoholic husband and Dewey provided both her and her daughter Jodi with comfort and love.

Vicky said: "He was more than just a cat, he was an old soul in a cat's body. Dewey was always there for me when I needed cuddling.

"He knew when I just needed to be quiet, or when I needed him to play and cheer me up. I will always be grateful to him."

While the fad for misery memoirs appeal to the ghoulish side of readers' nature, pet memoirs are fun and feelgood, especially at a time when all around the news is gloom.

America's appetite for cute pet stories was confirmed by the success of Marley And Me, about the socalled "worst dog in the world".

Despite groans from critics about its extravagant soppiness, it has so far sold almost three million copies in hardback.

Vicky earned her advance on the basis of a 45-page proposal that included photographs of Dewey lounging around the library.

Writing the Dewey book gave 61-year-old Vicky a new lease of life when she eventually retired from the library and she now lives in a mansion in Spencer with a new man in her life.

Vicky said: "I am having the most amazing time and I think I found love because of Dewey. I call it the Dewey magic."

There is now a series of children's books planned and a teenage version of the book.

Vicky now has a new cat, found in the cold near Spencer Public Library.

Apparently, he looks just like Dewey and is called Page Turner. Do we feel a sequel coming on?

Dewey is out now and published by Hodder and Stoughton priced at pounds 14.99.

'He was the perfect addition to make the library warm and friendly'


TOP CAT: Dewey's story is known around the world; FELINE FINE: Author Vicky with Dewey
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Feb 21, 2009
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