Browser the beloved library cat is being evicted by a mean-spirited city council in a small Texas town where the cat is more popular than the elected officials. The cat, who has lived at the library for six years, has 30 days to vacate after the City Council in White Settlement, Texas voted 2-to1 to force the library to give up its mascot.
The council turned a deaf ear to public pleas on Browser’s behalf, and was indifferent to petitions and a heartfelt defense by Lillian Blackburn, president of the Friends of the White Settlement Public Library. “That cat has been loved by people of all ages for six years,” she told the Forth Worth Star Telegram. “I don’t have any animals. But this cat is so gentle and so lovable and he brings so much comfort to so many people, it seems like a shame to take him away.” The library has started a petition asking for support for Browser.
Two city council members did not agree. “City Hall and city businesses are no place for animals,” Council member Elzie Clements declared at June 14 meeting, according to a report in the Grizzly Detail. The council took up the cat’s fate under an agenda item listed as “consider relocation of Library Facility cat Browser.”
The Star Telegram reported that Clements and Councilman Paul Moore voted to evict Browser. Before the vote, eight people spoke in support of keeping the cat, who was adopted from a local shelter. The town’s mayor blamed the decision on pettiness that stemmed from objections raised by a city employee who wasn’t allowed to bring a puppy to work. “We’ve had that cat five years, and there’s never been a question,” Mayor Ron White said.
Browser has his own Facebook page, which explains that he enjoys lounging on keyboards and attending GRE classes twice a week. White is hoping the council will reconsider its vote at a July 12 meeting, two days before Browser is due to be evicted. Stay tuned for a follow-up report. Fox News also ran the story, which made national news.