Raleigh, N.C. — The fourth-graders at Benvenue Elementary School in Rocky Mount were studying up on their mascot, a bobcat, recently and realized that, while North Carolina had an official state dog, there was no official state cat.
"They contacted me through letters and asked me to please sponsor this bill," Rep. Bobbie Richardson, D-Franklin, told her colleagues.
So, on Monday night, the North Carolina House found itself debating the relative merits of the catamount versus the bobcat, whether being added as an official state symbol confers any special protections to bobcats, and, of course, what sort of barbecue bobcats prefer.
"Because we name the bobcat the state cat does not (give) them any protective rights," Richardson said in answer to a question from Rep. Chris Whitmire, R-Transylvania, who noted that farmers and others sometimes had to "take care of" a misbehaving bobcat.
As for 'cue preference, House Speaker Tim Moore insisted the would-be state cat prefers western style, which of course drew an objection from the floor.
The measure passed 114-2 and will now go to the Senate.