Texas town reverses beloved library cat's eviction

By Ben Hooper Contact the Author   |   July 6, 2016 at 11:19 AM
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WHITE SETTLEMENT, Texas, July 6 (UPI) -- A Texas city council that voted to evict the local library's beloved cat reversed the decision weeks later, with one councilman blaming Facebook for the controversy.

The White Settlement city council voted unanimously Friday to overturn its June 14 decision to evict Browser the cat from the White Settlement Public Library, where the feline has resided for the past six years.

Mayor Ron White, who opposed the June 14 decision to evict Browser, welcomed the reversal, which followed an international outcry from cat lovers on social media.

"I don't think they understood what they had done to begin with and how it would affect everybody," White told ABC News of the city council members who voted against keeping the cat.

White said he received more than 1,500 emails from Browser supporters hailing from all 50 states and countries including Australia, England, France, Germany, Singapore, Malaysia, Guam and Canada.

White said the library has an air purifier to remove 99 percent of allergens from the air for patrons who are allergic to cats.

"It was a waste of time and money. It was ridiculous to do that and they did it without thinking ahead," the mayor said of the controversy. "It was absolutely wrong to begin with."

Councilman Elzie Clements, who initially led the effort to evict Browser, introduced the motion to overturn the decision Friday. Clements blamed Facebook and social media for turning a local issue into an international controversy.

"If we would just get people out here in this city to stay off of this media, this wouldn't have been this way," Clements said at the meeting.

The councilman elaborated on his thoughts in a phone interview with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

"Without social media, it never would have been more than a local story," he said Tuesday.

"Things happen inside a city that shouldn't be publicized outside," Clements said. "There's no need to jump on Facebook. I think Facebook and the social media [are] a bad thing. I sure do."

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