Beloved Cat Is Allowed to Stay in Texas Library

Portrait of a sleeping gray cat. Sushaaa/Shutterstock

Update: Looks like Browser won't be evicted after all. The city council called a special vote at an emergency meeting on July 1 and this time decided the cat could stay in his library home, reports the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The kitty's plight received international attention with the mayor receiving nearly 2,000 emails from as far away as Guam, London and Australia and more than 20,000 people signing a petition insisting that the kitty not be forced to leave.

Browser was hired by the public library in White Settlement, Texas, six years ago to deal with the reading establishment's rodent problem. In exchange for mouse eradication, the friendly feline received room and board and revered status — a town mascot of sorts. The kitty was popular with readers of all ages, especially kids who like to pick out books and read them to the obliging cat.

But apparently a city employee who wasn't allowed to take part in Bring Your Dog to Work Day took out his or her anger on Browser, complaining to the city council about the kitty's presence, reports local TV station CW33. So the council voted 2-1 in favor of ousting the cat. Browser was given 30 days to pack up his things and move out of the stacks for good.

"People just can't understand why this little city outside of Fort Worth, Texas, has decided to do this to a poor cat in the library," White Settlement Mayor Ronald A. White told The Washington Post. "I think it's a shame. I am embarrassed and saddened that our city council took it upon themselves to deliberate whether or not a cat should be in the library. I think it's ridiculous."

And many residents of White Settlement agree, rallying around the four-legged librarian. They've signed petitions, showed up at city council meetings to ask the group to reconsider and offered their homes to Browser if he's evicted.

Browser's fate was supposed to be decided at the next city council meeting on July 12, but because his story went viral and so many people castigated the council members for their decision, an emergency meeting was called July 1. The only thing on the agenda was Browser. This time city council voted 3-0 not to evict the cat.

"He's just a precious cat. And that is his home," said Lillian Blackburn, president of the Friends of the White Settlement Public Library. "And it seems very, very cruel to remove him from it, after all these years."