All About Browser, the Beloved Library Cat and the Humans Who Saved His Job
This is Browser, a cat who lives (and, yes, works) at the White Settlement Public Library in Texas. The feline was brought into the library six years ago to help with the building's mouse problem.
But earlier this summer, Browser made headlines when city officials threatened to evict him from the public building. According to the Star Telegram, Councilman Elzie Clements led the charge, stating that "City Hall and city businesses are no place for animals." The issue was brought to a vote on June 14 and the city council voted by 2-1 to remove Browser from the library. The former shelter cat had 30 days to find a new home following the vote.
But those who love Browser, and even those who had never met the cat, weren't about to let that happen. "All the citizens expressed approval for the cat to stay, except for one family," says Lillian Blackburn, a volunteer and the president of the Friends of the White Settlement Public Library. "The librarians told these patrons that if they could call from home or from the parking lot before arriving, the cat would be taken to an inside room during their visit. I know of no [other] complaints during these six years."
In his time at the library, Browser became as much a staple as the books. Blackburn shares that Browser would hang out with library visitors throughout the day and often accompanied the children who visited the facility. "He always seems to find a friend when he wants one," says Blackburn. "He seems to sense when a patron is too busy or in too much of a hurry to stop and play with him, so he moves on to another lucky patron."
Blackburn also notes that Browser's needs—including food and toys—were never paid for with taxpayer money. Instead, the library held fundraisers to help pay for the cat's care.
Blackburn says library employees and patrons were "stunned" by the sudden agenda to relocate Browser. Though some citizens did say they could not attend the library due to the cat, Blackburn says that issue hadn't been brought to the library's attention before the meeting.
But despite a few complaints, the public response to keep Browser in his library home was overwhelming.
"Less than two weeks later and [after] thousands of comments and petitions signed, the council called a special meeting, once again, to discuss and consider the location of Browser," says Blackburn. Luckily, the council overturned their initial decision and Browser's fans were thrilled that the cat was allowed to stay in the only home he's ever known.
Blackburn is so inspired by Browser's story that she has decided to write a children's books about the literary feline's wild tale. "I have been so excited about this result," she says.
Image via White Settlement Public Library Facebook