My latest book is Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World It's a pretty good book, much in the vein of Marley and Me, except that Dewey is some sort of miracle cat.
I will try not to give any spoilers, in case you wish to read / listen to this book yourselves, but I will tell a few things. Most of them the same information you'd find on the jacket cover or the first few pages of the book, after the author goes into a rosy report on her town.
Okay, so, here is the deal... Dewey was not hand selected. Dewey was dropped into the overnight book depository as a tiny kitten, on the coldest night of the year. I'm not doubting this at all, but you know, you rarely hear about animals being rescued on a balmy, sunny morning, where the night before was cool, but not cold, and clear. It's always extreme weather when an animal gets rescued.
But, the most amazing thing is that Dewey is a perfect cat for the library! Absolutely perfect in every way. Oh sure, he gets into some major shenanigans at one point in the book. But even then, they aren't really the hair ripping out shenanigans, they are "Oh dear, poor little kitty!" shenanigans. Otherwise, Dewey is absolutely amazing. Dewey brings shy children out of their shell, he helps turn the grumpy into cheerful, he cures a crippled boy by rubbing against his leg, and cures someone's blindness by licking them on the eyelids. Okay, I made the last two up, but you get the idea.
So, here is the mystery... how come the absolute perfect cat was put in the drop-off? I mean, a cat like Dewey is one in a billion, but they won the lottery. The most perfect kitten in the world came to the library, and not only was he the perfect kitten, he grew into the perfect cat.
It is things like this which make me scoff at those who say God doesn't exist. C'mon, it isn't like they tried out a few dozen cats, and finally found the perfect one, nope, they got one cat, and it was perfect. So, God watches out over people and cats and sometimes, when he's not busy messing with people's heads or watching sparrows fall, (Okay tell me, how many of you just pictured Depp falling out of a tree? C'mon, be honest!) he puts the perfect cat into the hands of the perfect people.
And makes me go, "Hm... god hates me. He loves my cats, but he hates me." Because let's be honest, my cats are one in a million, but it's a far different one in a million than Dewey ever was. Dewey is the Jesus of all cats, I have the antichrist, spread into three feline bodies.
I can't help but imagine what it would have been like if any one of my cats were dumped into the book return in Spencer, rather than old Dewey. What would that have been like?
As I emptied out the book return, I saw an irritated ball of grey fur with the most evil eyes that ever existed on a cat, looking up and me, shaking one paw, and going, "SQUALK!" over and over again.
"Aww, what a sweet little snookums!" I exclaimed, as I drew this bundle of fur close to my chest to warm her. She paid back the favor by sinking her claws into my breasts and hanging on for dear life. What a smart little kitty! I thought, as I felt my blood spurting out and covering her. Surely my blood will help warm her like a nice, hot, bath!
Or, let's say it was Goten who was dropped in the chute. "I looked up to see Johnny coming into the library. Everyone in Spencer knew Johnny, ten years old and the most graceful, athletic child Spencer had ever seen. Already, universities were competing against each other to give him a full athletic scholarship once he graduated from Highschool! Yes, Johnny's future was so bright, so promising, that he was always smiling. Today was no exception, and he had the most beautiful smile on his adorable face as he opened the door to the library.
"Hi Mrs-' he began, then suddenly lost is balance. He reached out, groping blindly for something, anything to hold onto, but nothing was there. His right leg was up in the air, his left one struggled for purchase on the floor, but that was not to happen and he went slamming down on the floor, which was cement with an industrial grade carpet glued to the top of it. Above the crack of Johnny's spine, we could hear the jingle-jangle of all of Goten's toy balls flying all over the place! Johnny was never able to walk again. Fortunately, Johnny was able to bounce back and actually adjusted to life in his wheelchair. I think the several million dollars he won in the lawsuit against the town of Spencer helped to cushion the blow. Johnny didn't even mind when after that, Goten would attack his pants every time he wheeled himself into the library. It was too bad that he didn't have any feelings in his legs and never noticed the scratches until they became gangrenous. Johnny never made it to his sixteenth birthday, such a blow for the town of Spencer.
Let's not leave Jesse out of this, either. "I never realized how much I enjoyed the quiet of the library, until we took Jesse in! His favorite game was to stand in the middle of the library and meow, and meow and meow, as if the world was coming to an end! Then, the moment you went over to see if something was wrong, he gave you a dirty look and ignored you. The moment you walked away, he would go back to screaming! Let me tell you, patrons of the library stopped worrying about whispering when Jesse was around! Also, we had to pay out over 5 thousand dollars a year to replace new coats because if a patron left a coat in the coat room, Jesse would drag it off to god knows where and we'd never find it until Summer! Yes, Jesse kept the library interesting! And customer free in the winter!
Of course, we have to look at the other side of this, and that is if they got one of my cats, what would I do if I got Dewey?
"Oh boy, another wonderful day, with the perfect Cat. Today, Dewey greeted me this morning by gently waking me up by purring softer, then louder and louder, until I was awake! I love this cat."
"Wow, you aren't going to believe this, but today Dewey found a valuable diamond ring in our apartment! I had it appraised and it's worth well over ten thousand dollars!"
"Today I woke up and Dewey made me breakfast, as usual. Except today, as I was drinking the freshly squeezed orange juice, I found a seed in it. Damned cat needs to learn to strain the seeds out better."
"Dewey finally finished my taxes. We're not getting as big a refund as I thought. I really need to double check this, I think he's slipping!"
So, maybe it all did turn out right at the end. Maybe the right people got the right cat(s)
But, I'd love to have read once in the book, that Dewey, while being snuggled by some rich patron of the library, decided to barf up a hairball right onto her Chanel suit.
Do I recommend the book? Yes I do. But if you have cats, I'm warning you, you're going to feel like you got the short end of the stick when you're done. Just remember, that a perfect cat, after awhile, becomes a boring cat.