Now I Know - Now I Know: But The Cat Came Back

I tried to make a joke about the sign in the background of the picture below, but it felt too forced to work. Oh well. -- Dan

But The Cat Came Back

White Settlement, Texas, is a suburb of Fort Worth and home to about 17,000 people. Given the population, you shouldn't be surprised to hear that White Settlement has a library -- currently, it's open from 10 AM to 6 PM on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. So no, you can't visit it today -- it's closed on Wednesdays. But back in 2016, that wasn't the case. As its now-shuttered website advertised, the library was open Sunday through Thursday from 10 AM to 7 PM back then. You could stroll in late on Wednesday morning, browse some books or maybe some DVDs, use a computer terminal, and say hi to Browser. That's him, pictured below.

Browser, per the library's old website, was the institution's unofficial mascot. In 2010, inspired by the story of another library cat, the White Settlement Public Library adopted Browser from a local animal shelter. He originally was there to help catch rodents, per the city's mayor, but Browser also captured the hearts of the White Settlement residents. The cat quickly adapted to his new home and became a local favorite, and even helped raise money for the library -- every year, the institution sold a calendar of Browser photos (like the one above) or engaged in a similar campaign "to help support the posh lifestyle of this precious kitten." 

But not everyone was a fan. And one of Browser's few enemies had power.

It was, originally, a take of discrimination: cats in the library were okay, but dogs in other municipal buildings? Not so much. In the first half of 2016, according to CBS News, "a city worker apparently demanded Browser’s removal after the worker was not allowed to bring a puppy to work at City Hall." That seems like an overreaction, but strange things happen in small-town politics, and the city council decided to take up the issue of four-legged creatures in two-legged spaces. In June of that year, the six-member council -- five district leaders and the mayor -- discussed the issue, with a majority of those voting against the interests of Browser. Per ABC News (in an article comically but straightforwardly headlined "Beloved Cat Fired from His Job at a Local Public Library"), "the town council decided that animals are no longer allowed in city facilities." Browser had 30 days to find a new home.

As anyone would have predicted, the public outcry against the decision was swift and loud. Within days, nearly a thousand of White Settlement's residents signed a petition asking the town council to reverse their stance or, at least, make an exception for Browser. Mayor Ron A. White, who voted against the rule that kicked Browser out, placed a motion to reconsider on the agenda for the board's next meeting, which was to take place just a few days before Browser's 30-day window expired. That was enough to start the ball rolling; as news of the cat's eviction spread throughout the globe, White Settlement's leadership felt sillier and sillier. The town council didn't even wait for the scheduled meeting to undo this error; on July 5th, a week before they were supposed to meet, the panel met and voted unanimously to reverse their decision. (The ABC News headline? "Beloved Cat Will Keep His Job at the Local Library After International Backlash.")

The backlash wasn't quite done yet, though. Elzie Clements, the council member who led the campaign against Browser, was up for re-election that year (a fact he noted when bringing the initial resolution to the floor that June). And while he joined the rest of the council in voting to reverse the ordinance he stumped for, the electorate must not have forgiven him. That November, Clements lost his re-election campaign in a landslide, taking only 42.6% of the vote. Browser kept his job; Clements lost his. 

One can't say there were no hard feelings, though. While Browser didn't comment on this whole ordeal -- well, maybe he did, but there were no meow-to-English translators available -- Clements used his last moments in government to again kick the cat out. As the Houston Chronicle reported, Clements "put an item on the council agenda for [his final meeting] seeking to boot Browser yet again." (As he told the press, "My view hasn’t changed — I don’t believe we need animals in our buildings.") The agenda item never came up for a vote.

Now I Know is supported by readers like you. Please consider becoming a patron by supporting the project on Patreon. 

Click here to pledge your support. (If you do, in gratitude, you'll have an ad-free Now I Know experience going forward.)

Bonus fact: White Settlement's population loved its cat -- and they really like their town's name, too. According to the city's official website, White Settlement was given its name by Native Americans that lived in the area; as white people moved into the region, "the Native Americans began to call the area 'White Settlement.'" Whether fact or folklore, the name is an explicit reference to the race of the people who founded the city. That proved somewhat problematic, and as Mayor White's successor told NPR: "there are many businesses and developers and real estate brokers who seem to have a reluctant and caution, if you will, about the name." So in 2015, the town voted on whether to change it to "West Settlement." The original name proved more popular, and overwhelmingly so: the ballot measure failed by a 9-to-1 margin.

From the Archives: The Cat's Cradle: The hotel where cats were the main attraction.
Like today's Now I Know? Share it with a friend -- just forward this email along.
And if someone forwarded this to you, consider signing up! Just click here.
Share Share
Tweet Tweet
Forward Forward
Archives · Privacy Policy

Copyright © 2022 Now I Know LLC, All rights reserved.
You opted in, at via a contest, giveaway, or the like -- or you wouldn't get this email.

Now I Know is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Some images above via Wikipedia.

Now I Know's mailing address is:
Now I Know LLC
P.O. Box 536
Mt. Kisco, NY 10549-9998

Add us to your address book

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your email address or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp

Key phrases

Older messages

Now I Know: The Four-Foot-Eight Security Loophole

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Roam and Rome are homophones, too. View this email in your browser · Missed one? Visit the Archives Congratulations to the Georgia Bulldogs on their college football championship last night. -- Dan The

Now I Know: The "You Should Retire" Law of 1882

Monday, January 10, 2022

A story about courts and incentives, I guess View this email in your browser · Missed one? Visit the Archives Hope you had a good weekend! -- Dan The "You Should Retire" Law of 1882 In the

Now I Know: What Do You Call Anti-Trivia?

Friday, January 7, 2022

It's the Now I Know Weekender! View this email in your browser · Missed an issue? Click here! What Do You Call Anti-Trivia? Hi! As long-time readers know, on Fridays — like, you know, today — I do

Now I Know: Fordite

Thursday, January 6, 2022

A fake rock, I guess? View this email in your browser · Missed one? Visit the Archives Today's Now I Know is a re-run and, to an extent, a cop-out. I was always planning on running something from

Now I Know: How to Lick a Killer Serve

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

A tick that stopped the aces View this email in your browser · Missed one? Visit the Archives The bonus fact today talks about Andre Agassi's autobiography. The New York Times did a meta-column on

Almost Friday! Day #64

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Continuing our streak! 💪 ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

NoDesk: Issue #199

Thursday, January 20, 2022

A weekly newsletter with the best new remote jobs, stories and ideas from the remote work community, and occasional offbeat pieces to feed your curiosity. By Daniel (@nodeskco). This issue is brought

Ahrefs' Weekly Digest #69

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Hey there, We're hiring! We have quite a number of open positions on the marketing team. So if you're interested, feel free to check them out. All right, moving on to what we've published

❓The Secret to 7 Figures? Dealmaking…

Thursday, January 20, 2022

​View In Browser​ ​ ​ Dealmaking is what we do in Contrarian Cashflow. Here are just a few things our community members have done since joining: ​ How do they do it? They learn about buying, not

30 Days to Better Habits #5: How to Make Good Habits Automatic

Thursday, January 20, 2022

​ ​ Lesson 5 of 11 How to Make Good Habits Automatic In the last lesson, we discussed environment design as a method for making cues more obvious, but you can also optimize your environment to make the

3-2-1: Productivity, success, and 3 simple questions to improve your day

Thursday, January 20, 2022

3 ideas, 2 quotes, and 1 question to consider this week. ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

Ping-pong playing pigeons

Thursday, January 20, 2022

…and drooling dogs can teach us a lot about learning. You really, really want your 2-year-old to go to sleep. Or for your teenager to do the dishes. Or for yourself to do those 30-minute daily runs you

How do you plan your day?

Thursday, January 20, 2022

What personal productivity system do you use to keep a handle on life? What have you used in the past? And what has stuck the longest and why? ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

🧙‍♂️ Paid Sponsorships with Gorton's, BJ's, Podcash, MDVIP, BetterSheets, Maxi-Cosi and more! (January 20)

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Plus which platforms earn you the most money? ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

Now I Know: 30 Years Ago Today Was A Good Day — Maybe

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Today, however, the snow has hampered my Internet access View this email in your browser · Missed one? Visit the Archives Today's Now I Know is an unplanned re-run (but I guess it works out nicely)