A purr-fect symbol for Maryland
We recently received a lovely email message from Vicki and Gary Harvath of Elkton, Maryland, which serves to remind us that the season for light-hearted bills has arrived.
"We just viewed some photos of our Christmas and thought that the Cecil Whig and/or Baltimore Sun would like to picture “Cassie” our 9 year old Calico in the paper," the Harvaths said. "The Calico Cat was officially declared Maryland’s State Cat, I believe in 1992."
Well, the Harvaths are off by a decade. The Calico became Maryland's state cat in October 2001, and was slected, according to the Secretary of State web site, because its colors mimic those in the state flag.
In addition to a state cat, Maryland has a state dog (the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, 1964), a state bird (the Baltimore Oriole, 1947), a state crustacean (the blue crab, 1989), a state insect (the Baltimore checkerspot butterfly, 1973), a state folk dance (square dancing, 1994), a state drink (milk, 1998), a state sport (jousting, 1962), and a state team sport (lacrosse, 2004).
The latest additions to the list came last year, when laws declaring the Smith Island cake as the official state dessert and walking as the state excercise took effect.
With the legislature back in session and schoolchildren everywhere prodded to participate in real life examples of how a bill becomes a law, there's no doubt that we will be seeing a lot more bills to add to Maryland's official list. If history is any guide, most will fail.
But back to the Harvaths. We were touched by the request, so here's a photo of Cassie, alongside a photo of the Calico on the Maryland Kids Page maitained by the Secretary of State's office. Which do you like better? And if you send us your favorite photo of the state reptile (the Diamondback Terrapin) or state fish (the rockfish), we'll put it up.