Texas Town Fires—Then Rehires—Its Library Cat
Local politics in the town of White Settlement, Texas—a place otherwise notable for refusing to change its name—are getting a little catty. The Fort Worth suburb’s city council recently fired its library cat in what the mayor said was political retribution, as Gawker reported.
In a 2-1 vote in June, the city voted to remove Browser, the White Settlement Library’s beloved feline mascot, from his post. According to the mayor, it wasn’t about fleas or allergies. Mayor Ron White told the Fort Worth Star Telegram it was payback from a city employee who wasn’t allowed to bring a dog to work. “That cat doesn’t have anything to do with whether somebody can have their puppy at City Hall,” White said. “The council just went out and did this on their own because they don’t like cats.”
Cats have a long history of working in libraries, where they keep rodents from chewing up valuable reading material. Feline assistants are employed at libraries all over the world.
Update: ABC News reports that Browser has been reinstalled as the library's official mouser. The city council unanimously reversed its decision in a vote on June 24, led by the council member who first introduced the campaign to push the cat out. More than 1500 people from around the world emailed the mayor in support of Browser’s continued presence at the library.