Growing up in Boston, I would frequent the corner store not just to get snacks, but to visit the cat the lived there. He was a big tiger cat and would sit on top of boxes and watch people come and go. He didn’t like being bothered and would do his own thing. Occasionally I would see him sitting out in front of the store watching people and cars pass. My memories of that store will always involve that big tiger cat.
In another Massachusetts town years later – okay, well, this year, actually – another beloved cat is causing a little stir for just living where she is living. Penny the cat lives in the Swansea Public Library and has lived there for nine years. Patrick Higgens, a man who loves a good lawsuit, demanded the removal of Penny because he claims her living there violates federal disabilities law. He says, “I must… demand that Penny the ‘house cat’ for the Swansea Library disappear since there are many people who are allergic to cats who cannot use the library facilities due to their allergies, in direct violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.”
Library Director Cynthia St. Amour has said that there has never been a complaint about Penny in the nine years that she’s lived there. Swansea has had a long tradition of library cats, with Penny, a rescue cat, the library’s third feline resident. Before Penny there was Spooky, who lived until the ripe age of 19, and Dooey before that.
A petition on change.org to keep Penny in place has received over 2,000 signatures and his email to the director went viral. These things spurred Higgens to drop the complaint and Penny will stay in the library for the rest of her life.
Another win for cat people.
Image via Herald News