Calico cat could become state symbol

In Brief

In brief

January 19, 2001|By Capital News Service

ANNAPOLIS - The ordinary calico cat would be elevated to official Maryland symbol if a new bill sponsored by Delegate Kevin Kelly, D-Allegany, is signed into law this session.

Maryland already has a lengthy roster of other official state animals, most with more obvious connections to the state: dog, Chesapeake Bay retriever; bird, Baltimore Oriole; crustacean, blue crab; and fish, rockfish.

So why is Maryland considering a state cat? And why calico?

Last spring, five then-fourth-grade students at Western Port Elementary School in Allegany County felt that it was time.

The five girls had studied how a bill becomes a law and visited the State House. There they learned another group of students proposed Maryland adopt an official dinosaur and succeeded, said Emily Weber, one of the students.

In April, Weber, January Mullen, Abigail Rawlings, Lexi Gentry and Molly Nelson wrote a letter to Kelly and asked him to propose a bill.

"Maryland has a state dog, and we thought that the colors of the calico cat would go with the Maryland state flag," said Mullen.

Kelly introduced the bill in the House Wednesday.

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