Sterling Heights official's tweet sparks anger among cat lovers - Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

Sterling Heights official's tweet sparks anger among cat lovers

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"be cool, Jules. He's a troll. Kinda like the people who keep emailing me about feral cats....Kidding!" "be cool, Jules. He's a troll. Kinda like the people who keep emailing me about feral cats....Kidding!"
"Cat people are so sensitive." "Cat people are so sensitive."
"Dear feral cat lovers who didn't wish death upon me: you are not trolls. Glad we cleared this up. Your friend - Mike" "Dear feral cat lovers who didn't wish death upon me: you are not trolls. Glad we cleared this up. Your friend - Mike"
(WJBK) -

What started as a concern for stay cats in Sterling Heights has turned into a war of words on Twitter, with a high-ranking city official under fire.

It started when Sterling Heights Mayor Pro Tem Michael Taylor responded to a negative tweet.

"I'll own my comment, and I'm not going to back down from it. When somebody sends me a disgusting email, I'm going to respond to it. I'm not one of these politicians that just, you know, gives a vanilla, public-relations response," Taylor tells FOX 2's Andrea Isom.

He tweeted:

"Be cool, Jules. He's a troll. Kinda like the people who keep emailing me about feral cats....Kidding!"

Cat advocates across the country caught wind of the remark and the claws came out.

"Everyone wants to put it out that we're these crazy cat people," says Laura Wilhelm Bruzek, Director of Paws for the Cause.

"I don't think that any elected official, who is being paid by the taxpayers, should be name calling, even if he is quote 'kidding,'" says Carol Lowther, an animal foster parent. She says she was one of the people who has emailed Taylor about the cat situation, and does not consider herself an Internet "troll."

The city of Sterling Heights has been trying to fix its feral cat problem. Many have suggested the city take the TNR approach, or trap, neuter and return the cats, but say the city has not paid any attention to their suggestion.

"If somebody's accusing me of not caring, nothing could be further from the truth. I spent all day responding to people about this feral cat issue. I'm very interested in it; I'm very involved in it; I do care. I want to do what's best for the residents of Sterling Heights," Taylor says.

He also apologized on camera saying: "I do regret making that comment and painting everyone with a broad brush. There were only a few people doing it in a disrespectful way. Most of the people are, like I said, good-faith animal lovers, cat lovers, who just want to make sure the city's protecting the feral cats in our community and doing it in a humane way."

Taylor says the feral cat conversation is not over and will talk with anyone who brings solutions to him.

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