A Texas town council voted on Friday not to evict a cat from the local library, reversing itself and averting a possible cat-astrophe.
After being dogged by angry cat lovers, the White Settlement town council reconsidered a 2-1 decision evicting Browser the cat from the library and voted unanimously to allow him to stay, according to WFAA reporter Lauren Zakalik.
Browser has been popular among library patrons and employees for five years, but some officials advocated booting the cat, citing allergy and safety concerns, according to the Tyler Morning Telegraph.
Mayor Ron White, a non-voting council moderator under the city charter, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram the crusade against Browser started with simple pettiness at City Hall. Apparently, a city employee was angry at not being allowed to keep a pet at work, and started an anti-cat fuss.
“We’ve had that cat five years, and there’s never been a question,” said White, a Browser supporter. “That cat doesn’t have anything to do with whether somebody can have their puppy at City Hall. That cat doesn’t hurt anybody. … The council just went out and did this on their own because they don’t like cats.”
The vote two weeks ago to oust Browser made the cat an international cause celebre.
Council member Jim Ryan said during Friday’s special meeting that he had personally received 1,394 messages in the past week from all over the United States as well as Germany, Australia, Malaysia, Guam and Italy.
“All were in support [of Browser]” he said.
The vote to allow Browser to stay was greeted by cheers from supporters.
Council member Elzie Clements expressed concerns that the cat’s presence could be a problem for those with allergies.
Lillian Blackburn, president of Friends of the White Settlement Public Library, said people are free to call ahead so the cat can be sequestered during their visit.