Political Battle Erupts Over County Coroner's Cat Named Morticia 


In Lexington County, South Carolina, there is a coroner who keeps a cat in her office—appropriately named Morticia. And she is fighting like hell for that cat to stay.

Local outlet The State has followed this story for a number of weeks now. Coroner Margaret Fisher brought the stray in to serve as a sort of unofficial therapy cat. “It’s been good for everyone, including us,” Fisher told the paper. “She changes the outlook of people.” And God knows they probably needed it, considering how grim their daily duties are.

But the local county council is concerned about allergic reactions, scratches, and other risks, and pets technically aren’t allowed in government buildings. “I’ve asked her to find a nice home for the cat,” county council chairman Johnny Jeffcoat told The State. “Our liability for that is huge.” Fisher had petitioned for an exemption, but then the story took another turn. The State reports that janitors let themselves into the coroner’s office, under orders from the county administrator, to take pictures of the cat. And Fisher is pissed.

Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher wants the county administrator fired for what she says was a break-in at her office to get photos of a kitten she keeps there to comfort the grieving.
Fisher is upset county janitors entered her office where crime scene information is stored without any of her staff present and snapped photographs of the cat for Administrator Joe Mergo
“Why did they need to come in covertly?” she said Tuesday. “To me, this is unimaginable.”

She pointed out that there’s sensitive evidence kept in her office, and complained about the administrator, insisting that, “This is not about a cat. This is about overstepping his power. I think it’s a control issue.” She’s the first new coroner in decades, too.

But the administrator said they just came in at regular office-cleaning hours, and “There’s no ill will, no ill intent.” Other officials say he didn’t do anything wrong. The county council chairman also called her claims “so ridiculous, over the top.”

So basically this county’s government has gotten itself into a big snarl over a tabby cat named Morticia. Which is probably what Morticia wanted all along, because that’s how cats do.

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