After a storied six-year career as a public servant, Browser has less than 30 days to find a new job—and a new home. On June 14, the city council of White Settlement, Texas, voted 2 to 1 in favor of “relocating” the former shelter cat and current library mascot, drawing allegations of political payback, the Associated Press reports.
According to The Grizzly Detail, council members representing the town of 16,000 cited allergy issues during the spirited debate over Browser’s future. Mayor Ron White, however, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that he suspected the vote had more to do with puppy partisanship:
Mayor Ron White, a nonvoting council moderator under the city charter, supports Browser. He blamed pettiness at City Hall because a city employee wasn’t allowed to keep a pet at work.
“We’ve had that cat five years, and there’s never been a question,” he said.
“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.”
Mayor White says he hopes to revisit the issue during the next city council meeting, which is slated for just two days before Browser is scheduled to be evicted. Fortunately, Mayor White appears to have the public on his side: 618 library patrons reportedly signed an unofficial petition supporting Browser.
City councilman Elzie Clements, who said he opposed any animals in the library and is up for re-election this year, acknowledged that the vote may put his political future in jeopardy.