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COLUMN: Theres a cat in the library

The Summerland Library will be hosting a Kitty Cat Café this weekend on Saturday, Nov. 26
Black Press file photo

Cats and libraries go hand-in-hand.

Their correlation dates back centuries to the Middle Ages when cats were housed in monasteries in order to defend precious documents from hungry rats.

Besides that, the temperament of a furry feline just aligns perfectly with libraries and reading. Cozying up with a good book can only get better with a cat in your lap.

Many libraries around the world even have their own library cat. So many in fact, that a book dedicated to the subject matter was written back in 1992.

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Cats, Librarians, and Libraries: Essays for and about the Library Cat Society contains several essays detailing the lives of different library cats and their impact on the day-to-day lives of their respective library staff and patrons.

The most famous library cat was Dewey Readmore Books of Spencer Iowa, who was found abandoned in the public library book return bin in 1988.

The library went on to adopt him and held the position of Staff Supervisor at the library for 18 years. After appearing in a couple of documentaries on library cats, Dewey became quite well-known, especially in Japan where he had earned himself a cult following.

At the time of his passing in 2006, Dewey’s obituary was featured in more than 270 newspapers.

His legacy lives on through books written by his rescuer, Vicky Myron who was a librarian at the Spencer Public Library. Myron has written two adult books, Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World and Dewey’s Nine Lives: The Legacy of the Small-Town Library Cat Who Inspired Millions along with three children’s books, Dewey: The Library Cat, Dewey: There’s a Cat in the Library and Dewey’s Christmas at the Library.

While the Summerland library would love to have a library cat of their own, we simply cannot. Therefore we thought of the next best thing.

We are very excited to announce that we will be hosting a Kitty Cat Café this weekend on Saturday, Nov. 26 from 2 to 4 p.m. We will be inviting cats and kittens from the SPCA to join us in the enclosed Meeting Place room, and welcome to public to drop-in anytime during the event to meet the cats, have a snuggle or two, and enjoy some refreshments.

The SPCA will also have plenty of information about their organization available at the event, including information on how to adopt if you meet a new kitty best friend.

The SPCA will also be graciously accepting donations so they can continue their efforts in rescuing and housing animals in our community.

Kayley Robb is a assistant community librarian at the Summerland Branch of the Okanagan Regional Library and has her very own cuddly cat named Jasper.

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