In a twist that will surprise no one familiar with small town politics, a library cat was fired by the city council of White Settlement, Texas, in what many believe to be a retaliatory act. According to the Star-Telegram, Mayor Ron White "blamed pettiness at City Hall" for the library cat's dismissal. Browser, a former shelter cat, now has until July 14 to find a new home.
After a White Settlement "city employee wasn't allowed to keep a pet at work," Council Members Elzie Clements and Paul Moore voted to remove Browser from the library facility. Clements went on the record, saying "City Hall and city businesses are no place for animals." Browser has served the library faithfully, and without incident, for six years.
Relocating a cat puts tremendous stress on the animal. Cats are often lost, injured, or killed after a move, because they will attempt to flee new dwellings in search of their old homes. Browser has been relocated at least once, from the shelter to the library, and perhaps multiple times before that. Moving him again will endanger his life, but the city council members who voted to oust him don't seem to have taken this into account.
The realities are not lost on Browser's fans, however. More than 800 supporters have signed an online petition to help keep the library cat at his post. Despite his belief that "[t]he council just went out and did this on their own because they don’t like cats," Mayor White has called for another meeting on July 12, in the hopes of saving Browser's position with a new vote. If that fails, he and others are prepared to take the fight for Browser to the election season in November, when Clements will be up for re-election.
For more information, or to help Browser stay in his library home, write the White Settlement City Council Members.