The Cat Tax


IRWIN KRAMER: Some cats can talk, even dance, sing and sway to adoring fans who purr as they play. Others do not talk and just give meows, delighting their owners, but earning no bows. But one cat stood up without fancy lyrics or acrobatic feats. Not on Broadway, but on Georgia streets.

CARL MILES: I will make Blackie say "I want my mama."

BLACKIE THE CAT: I want my mama.

CARL MILES: " I love you."

BLACKIE THE CAT: I love you.

Blackie spread the word on the streets of Augusta in exchange for tips. But when the city tried to tax his unemployed owners, Carl and Elaine Miles took their act to court.

IRWIN KRAMER: Blackie did not testify. But his owners fought the city’s efforts to impose a cat tax. They thought it was discriminatory.

Did the city discriminate against Blackie or somehow deprive him of his right to freedom of speech?

Not according to a federal judge in Georgia. In his view, the city has a right to impose on occupation tax even if they do not spell out a specific line of work.

CARL MILES: Blackie is by far the strangest cat I have ever seen.