Books and cats go together like fish and chips. Yet some people object to cats that have set up home in buildings used by the public. In this instance I’m referring to book shops and libraries but it could also be veterinarian clinics and even hospices or theatres. Taking your cat to work is another way that you’ll see cats in places other than a home.
Personally, and I am bound to say this, there is no doubt in my mind that cats add to a library and book shop. Their presence probably helps to sell books but I would doubt that they are there for that purposes. They make a library and book shop more homely and comfortable. The cat makes a library like a home and gives it a bit of soul, bringing joy to the vast majority of people.
Then along comes someone who complains about the cat. You are almost bound to get this nowadays. Perhaps it is a modern phenomenon; an over emphasis on health and safety in public places.
In this instance I am referring to a Mr Higgins who has complained about Penny, a tabby cat, who has been at the Swansea library for 14 years with not a single complaint – only praise, I expect. This, by the way, is Swansea, USA and not Wales, UK.
Mr Higgins appears to have complained about cat allergies. Perhaps he is allergic to cats. However, most libraries are large places with plenty of options to put a bit space between you and the cat if you are allergic.
Mr Higgins also complained about a fence that is blocking a wheelchair entrance. Perhaps the fence is there to stop Penny going into a certain area. He said the fence was a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and planned to sue the library until the backlash arrived from the public!
Overwhelmingly, the public supports Penny and the library. The kind of comment we are seeing on the internet is along these lines:
It’s amazing to me that in 14 years time…..the only thing that Penny has done is bring joy to the people of Swansea and made a trip to the library an enjoyable one. I am pretty sure that there have been many others that have allergies that visit the library…and they survived. Perhaps Higgins should invest in a kindle and leave a treasured piece of Swansea alone…..(Shana Provost)
That is a smart comment, the general tenor of which is supported by many others, namely: Mr Higgins, it is you who has to go, not Penny!
I love that sort of outcome. The story is not over. Mr Higgins will withdraw his complaint if a sign is put up about cat allergies and provided Penny is not replaced when she dies.
The library directors are meeting to discuss a response to Mr Higgins. What is it going to be? Ban Higgins, maybe?
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