Cat fired by Texas library has 30 days to find new home

The planned eviction of Browser has sparked outcry

Texas city council orders eviction of library’s cat

The Texas town of White Settlement has a cat problem.

Two weeks ago, the city council voted 2-1 to evict Browser, a cat which has lived in the town’s library for the last six years, catching mice and making lots of friends.

Councillors said they took the decision for the right reasons, and that they acted following complaints from people with allergies. Little did they imagine the storm of outcry they would trigger.

The town, which has a population of about 16,000 and is situated in the western suburbs of Fort Worth, has found itself at the centre of international headlines and online fury, with claims that the councillors are being heartless.

Such has been the firestorm that the town’s mayor, Ronald White, told one newspaper that he was “embarrassed and saddened” by the decision.

One of the council members who voted to evict browser said they had acted after receiving complaints from people who had suffered reactions after entering the library.

“We had a few complaints – our door was not knocked down with complaints – but we had some complaints from people who had gone to the library not knowing there was a cat,” council member Elzie Clements told The Independent.

Even feline lovers outside the US have called for the pet to remain 

“And they came out with their eyes swollen. Cat allergies are pretty bad. It affects people quite a lot.”

He said that he and his colleagues believed the library should be accessible to everyone, even if it meant the Browser had to go. Furthermore, he said, there were plenty of people who had already volunteered to offer him a a new home.

“We’re not being hard-hearted,” he said.

Lillian Blackburn, a volunteer at the library, said the prized pooch loved to be read to 

Yet, those fighting for Browser to stay say that the library would be a poorer place without him.

“He has been with us for six years. He came because we had a problem – like lots of libraries do – with mice,” said Lillian Blackburn, president of the Friends of the White Settlement Public Library.

Ms Blackburn, 78, a retired teacher, said Browser was very friendly, liked to be stroked and enjoyed being read to. “He strolled around. The children loved him,” she said.

She said while there were plenty of people who were prepared to offer a home to Browser – whose name was selected after a vote – it would not be the home he had known these past six years.

Asked if she and her fellow Browser boosters were making a lot of effort to save a single animal, she said: “That’s right. But that does not mean we should not do this.”

She added: “This is not even the most important issue in White Settlement. But it does not mean we should ignore it.”

It may be that Browser will get a reprieve. Amid the outcry another meeting, where the cat’s future will be discussed, is due to take place on Friday evening.

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