White Settlement is a suburb of Fort Worth in west Texas.
Browser is a 6-years-old docile grey tabby who has lived in the city’s public library since kittenhood and is much loved by townsfolk.
Elzie Clements in a councilman of White Settlement who spent all last summer trying to evict Browser.
Guess who loses!
Cameron Fairchild reports for CBS DFW that Browser got his job at the library when he was just a kitten. He was recruited from a local animal shelter as an inexpensive but effective method of pest control at the library.
In July, a spiteful city worker demanded Browser’s removal after the worker was not allowed to bring a puppy to work at City Hall.
On June 14, 2016, the White Settlement City Council took up the issue of what to do with Browser.
As reported by Mitch Mitchell for the Star-Telegram, the council voted 2-1 to give Browser 30 days to find a new home. Clements and Paul Moore were the two votes to remove Browser.
“Then the fur flew.
Mayor Ronald White, a nonvoting council moderator under the city charter, said that he had gotten 1,399 emails from places as far away as London, Guam and Australia in support of letting the cat stay. That was after he deleted 400, White said.
‘We are now known all over the world,’ White said. ‘I’m not sure yet if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.’
Media outlets such as the Washington Post, Buzz Feed and The Associated Press have also inquired about Browser’s welfare, White said.
‘I never expected this would get this big,’ White said.
White said many families have offered to adopt Browser.
So the City Council called a special meeting on the evening of July 1. By then, a pro-Browser petition had gathered more than 20,400 signatures.
At least 50 White Settlement residents crammed into the small council chambers; others waited outside. All were Browser backers.
Confronted with a citizens’ revolt, Councilmen Elzie Clements, Paul Moore and David Mann voted 3-0 in a 20-minute meeting not to evict the cat.
Neither Moore nor Clements could be reached after the meeting to explain why they changed their vote. But Clements wife, Penny, said “We have gotten nothing but hate emails and hate messages since this whole thin started. We just wanted it all to go away. We’ve been called cat haters and we have cats at home. People have suggested doing things just short of murder.”
On November 8, Clements was defeated in the local election by a landslide. December 13 was his last meeting as a member of the city council.
Mayor Ron White reassures the townsfolk that “Browser is still employed and will be as long as he wishes to continue his duties as mascot and reading helper for the children at the library.”
Browser’s job title is now Library Cat for Life.