Book Review: Dewey’s Nine Lives

Dewey’s Nine Lives
Vicki Myron
Dutton Adult
320 pages
I realized recently that I am a big sucker for books about animals.  Specifically, I can’t resist a good cat story.  So even though I haven’t read Vicki Myron’s original book about Dewey (I hope to soon!), I jumped at the chance to read Dewey’s Nine Lives.
Vicki Myron met and corresponded with a vast number of people as Dewey’s story became more and more well known.  This book is a compilation of cat stories that she was told when communicating with people about their love for Dewey as well as their bond with their own cat.
I loved the idea of this compilation.  It worked well in execution, with the exception of one issue that irritated me.  I felt like Myron tried way to hard to integrate herself and Dewey into every story.  It wasn’t necessary at all and it interrupted the fluidity of the individual stories.
Other than that small issue, I found this book very enjoyable, and it made me want to share my own story.  One of the points Myron made repeatedly was that oftentimes, if you save an animal, they will always know that you are the one responsible for saving them and caring for them, which creates an unbreakable bond.  I find that to be true with all my animals, to some extent, but none more than my little girl Fiona.
Fiona’s Story
I found Fiona on Memorial Day weekend in 2006.  Someone about a block away from my parents summer cottage found a litter of abandoned kittens back behind their house.  My sister and I, ever the cat lovers, raced over there straight away to have a peek.  I am sure it will come as a surprise to no one that I fell in love straight away, and ended up taking two of the kittens home with me.
The kittens were estimated to be about two weeks old.  They were so young

Fiona (on the left) with her two brothers

that I had to bottle feed them and keep them in an enclosed space.  I decided on the named Felix and Fiona.  Felix I had chosen first.  He was the runt–only 2 ounces when I took him to the vet later that week and a little mass of black and white fur.  Fiona was sturdier at a staggering 8 ounces (!) and she has always had the most beautiful coat, with shades of brown and red.

Felix and Fiona were spunky little things and a great joy to watch.  I relished caring for them–having such young kittens was difficult but so rewarding!  Unfortunately, at only four weeks old, Felix suddenly got very ill.  My vet discovered that he had underdeveloped organs, the result of being the runt of the litter, and that he would undoubtedly die.  As anyone who has ever put down a pet knows, it is one of the most difficult things to endure, but I had no choice.  I was absolutely crushed at the loss of Felix.

Fifi as a young kitty, cuddled up in bed!

Meanwhile, Fiona grew and became very independent! She no longer needed me as much and she had no problem letting me know it! For the first year of her life, she was not an affectionate kitty.  I had adopted two more kittens, Milo and Charlie, and while I had done it to keep her company, the antics of her brothers grated on Fiona.  To this day she prefers to be on her own, although she will ciddle up with her brothers from time to time.

As time has gone on, Fiona’s personality has slowly shifted and sh has transformed into a “mama’s girl”.  She is very finicky when it comes to doling out her love, and the only people she will ever show affection for are me and my husband, but me especially.  She sleeps on the pillow behind my head every night, often mewling whenever I shift positions, as a request to scratch behind her ears.  She loves to sit in the bathroom while I am in the shower or bath.  If I am at home, she is often at my side.  And I really do believe that she sees me as her mother.  She was so little when I found her that she quickly made that determination.  In fact, for the first few months of her life, she would try at all costs to latch onto my bottom lip.  She became convinced that was her food source, and try as I might to dodge her, she would be foraging and rooting around for me.
My cats mean the world to me.  My husband never fails to remind me that I am one of those “crazy cat ladies”.  I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Other Reviews:
I received this book from the publisher for review.

12 Responses

  1. Aw, thanks for sharing about your cats! That’s so cute that she was trying to latch on to your lip, lol!!

  2. Awww 🙂 how sweet. I’m a crazy cat lady too-what can you do? 🙂

  3. For me, I’m not a fan of cat books, but I really enjoyed Dewey and I have this one on my TBR. Must be something about libraries and cats that I like!

  4. I thought Dewey was a bit too sappy. That sounds horrible but that’s the word that came to mind and I am a cat person!!

    I lost my feline friend of 17 years over 2 years ago and I am still not really able to look at another animal. The kids want another pet but I am still dragging my feet over it.

  5. I love that the book inspired you with your own cat tale. Fiona is lucky to have found you … and vice versa.

  6. Thanks for sharing Fiona’s story. I had a cat like Felix. Her name was Bobbi and it was heartbreaking when she died.

    Anyway, I so can’t do animal stories. Marley & Me ruined animal stories for me. I bawled my eyes out listening to the audio with my husband laughing at me and that was it for me and animal stories. LOL

  7. love the cats ,all the best stu

  8. The kitty pics are awesome!

  9. I do agree that rescue animals somehow know that you saved them and tend to be extra loyal. I love the story of Fiona!

  10. I don’t read a lot of pet books because they often end sad…. and leave me feeling the same. I have seen this one around and was interested in the review.

  11. I was going to ask you how the two books compare, but I guess I can’t if you haven’t read the other. It just seems weird to me to try to read a second book about Dewey. There were so many stories in the first one, I wonder what will be in this one, you know?

    Fiona is adorable.

  12. I haven’t read this one, but read the first Dewey book. I picked it up because my husband had been wanting to have our own cat(s) since we got married, as he grew up with them and I didn’t have any pets, so I didn’t feel the need to have one. After getting married for a few years, I asked if he’d regret it if he never has a pet again, and he said he would. So I slowly warmed up to the idea (to make him happy), and started reading some books about pets (Dewey and Marley – even though we aren’t getting a dog as husband is allergic to them, I thought the love for pet would be the same regardless what animal it is.) The Dewey book made me cry! I think it did help me sway to the side of getting a cat 🙂

    And so, now, we have 3 cats in the last 3 months! They definitely each have their own personalities. One has chosen me as her person (still likes husband though) while the other likes husband slightly better. We’ll see who the 3rd kitty chose!

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