I’m in strong favor of bookstore cats and library cats, but apparently not everybody is. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that the library cat of small town White Settlement, Texas may become a victim of political squabbling sparked by someone getting upset they couldn’t have their puppy at City Hall.
Local paper The Grizzly Detail reports that the City Council meeting at which the vote was called was full of local residents who were there to express their support for Browser the library cat, who’s been a fixture at the White Settlement library for five years. There was also a petition signed by 618 people in support of the cat. Mayor Ron White came out against the City Council decision:
“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.”
All in all, it seems like a fairly silly issue for a City Council to bother with, not to mention a potential re-election issue come November. People do love their pets, after all—and the bookstore or library cat is a fine old fixture.
(Found via The Verge.)
My son (like quite a few people) is seriously allergic to cats. It is not appropriate for them to get their fur and dander on surfaces in public spaces, not to mention the books that we would potentially bring into our house. They are not harmless animals. Like smoking, cats belong in their owners home, not impose on others without their consent. You haven’t really thought this through. You should.
@DaveMich: My wife and I are no strangers to these matters since Carly has a severe allergy to cats and dogs and almost died as a result. At the same time Carly loves cats—even more than dogs—and can understand the cat’s benefits to the library. Here’s our take. Remove the cat if this is the only library in the area. But if other libraries are nearby, yes, keep Browser. If Browser must go, then find a good home rather than sending the animal to a kill shelter. David
I understand that sometimes a library cat does the duty of keeping the mice under control, but the better way would be pest control. However, that brings up the issue of folks who are allergic or upset over the chemicals. Add in that there are also people seriously allergic to dogs, and you have a total no-win situation.
Many times I’ve brought a book home from the library only to find all sorts of interesting things stuck in the pages: food crumbs, pet fur, peoples hair (truly grossed me out that some used a lock of hair as a bookmark), and once a book had blood on the pages (and that went back ASAP to be destroyed by the library).
Personally, pets (not working, licensed, certified animals for those who need them) don’t belong in public buildings, grocery stores, restaurants, or any place where “John & Jane Public” visit.
‘If they can, I can’ disputes tend to be bitter. Allowing a single, well-behaved cat in the library isn’t the same as allowing anyone’s puppy in.
Allergies are another issue, particularly since that would impact not just visiting the library, but checking out books from it. The one in the picture looks like a typical tabby, which when I had one I called a “generic cat” since it looks like a barcode. There are, however, cat breeds that are far less likely to trigger allergies. Here’s a list:
Here is one source the cat on top of that list:
Lovely cats and apparently great pets. Here’s a description of their personalities:
With their thick fur and Siberian origins, they’re best in cooler climates, which may be why the sources tend to be in New England.
When I lived in Maryland a few decades ago, there was a used bookstore in Bethesda that had two book store cats. I loved those cats. One of them decided to sit on my head while I kneeled down to look at a bottom self. The clerk laughed and said she liked my hat. Great cat.
I liked going to that store and seeing that cats. When that cats got old, they were “retired” to the private home, but the store put up a photo shrine of the cats interacting when the customers. I’m not the only one who liked them.
I’m sorry if some people are allergic – but that’s life.