Dewey’s Nine Lives
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.
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!
I received this book from the publisher for review.
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