The Cat That Talked, Fought For Your Right To Free Speech

Posted by on May 17th, 2010

In a list compiling the most famous talking animals, we are introduced to Blackie the Cat, a novelty act in the 1980s in which the titular feline would meow “I love you” and “I want my mama.”

However, after the bright lights of variety shows like “That’s Incredible” faded, the cat and his owners took to the Georgia streets to make a buck. Shortly after, Blackie’s speech became a first amendment flash point.

After some complaints from locals, police informed Carl that he would need to get a business license in order to keep up Blackie’s street show. Carl paid the $50 fee for a license, but something about it rubbed him the wrong way.

So Carl sued the city of Augusta, under the pretense that the city’s business license code mentions many types of occupations that require a license, but a talking cat show was not one of them. But that wasn’t the only issue Carl had –he also claimed the city was infringing on Blackie’s First Amendment Right to Free Speech.

Carl lost his case, but he appealed the ruling until it came before a federal court. The argument was finally closed when three presiding judges declared that the business license ordinance allowed for other, unspecified types of businesses to require a license, which would encompass a talking cat performer.

As for the First Amendment violation, the courts said the law did not apply because Blackie was not human, and therefore not protected under the Bill of Rights.

Yet another soul crushed under the steel wheels of an oppressive judicial system prejudice to talking cats.


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