One of Iowa’s most famous felines has gone to that great scratching post in the sky. A cat named Dewey Readmore Books, the library cat at the Spencer Public Library, has died. The 20-year-old Dewey was diagnosed with serious health problems and had to be put to sleep. The tale of how he came to be the library cat two decades ago inspired thousands around the globe.
Library director Vicky Myron found Dewey. Myron says she came in one very cold morning when it had hit ten-below the night before, opened the book drop to empty it out and was surprised to hear a noise coming from inside and found the tiny little kitten hidden between all the books. She says they had to act fast to save the small cat’s life.
Myron says the kitten was half-frozen and didn’t look very good so they took him in and gave him a bath to warm him up and he purred the whole time and he purred whenever anyone held him. She says the cat’s celebrity status quickly spread and never faded. A film crew from Japan recently was in Spencer to shoot a one-hour special on Dewey.
Myron says the cat gets e-mail and regular mail from all over the world and just got a letter from an admirer in Jerusalem. He had other fans in South Africa, Canada and got birthday cards and gifts from New York, California, Texas and other states. Dewey just marked his 20th birthday this month. A memorial service is planned. At least three other Iowa libraries have library cats — in Bettendorf, Richland and Readlyn.