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[Readings]

Animal House

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From a city-council meeting in White Settlement, Texas, in July 2016. The previous month, the council had voted to evict Browser, a cat who had lived in the local library for six years, because a city worker was not allowed to house her dog at City Hall.


mayor ron white:
The next item is discussion of the relocation of the library cat. This last week I have received messages from around the world over this issue. The count right now is 1,394 messages, from the United States as well as Germany, Australia, Malaysia, Guam, and England. Once this got onto social media it just took over. I’ve not read all the messages, but I’ve been able to scan them, and they’re all in support of the cat.


city councilman:
As most of you know, there was a puppy in City Hall. I spoke to Amy about the puppy. I told her that I was fixing to tell her something that no one else had the guts to tell her: that the puppy had to leave. She said, “Yes, sir, I understand.” She loaded the puppy up immediately, all of its belongings; she walked out the door; the puppy hasn’t been back.

How that story got out I don’t know, but I’ve got my suspicions. If we would just get people in this city to stay off of this media, it wouldn’t have been this way. But we got people who get on this media, and they don’t tell you the whole truth, the whole story, they just tell you enough to puff your chest up.


townspeople:
No, no, no . . .


councilman:
I can say anything I want to say.


white:
We’re on an agenda. Let’s not distract from the agenda item —


townspeople:
Shhhh.


councilman:
Brother Mayor, you control the people there, I’ll control myself.


white:
Listen —


councilman:
You listen!


white: We’re not going to have this, now.


councilman:
I know we’re not.


white: The discussion is to consider relocation of the library cat.


councilman:
The city has experienced many events in the past weeks. A councilman who had been a public servant here for many years, raised his family here, has passed away. Another council member suffered a stroke and has been hospitalized. A volunteer fireman lost his life. He was run into by a pickup truck. Yet with all this going on, the focus of a small group of community activists and their political supporters is whether a cat can survive in the public library. We have received complaints. Staff and elected officials have been needlessly called names and ridiculed. The entire town has been made a mockery of. No mention has been made over real matters at hand: tragic death, illness, the opening of the new water park. However, since I recognize that there are matters that require our attention more than this, I would like to make a motion to reinstate the cat to the library.


white:
Browser is reinstated to the library.


townspeople:
[Cheers]


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April 2017