Courtesy photo / City of Merriam, Kansas

When Ken Sissom became the mayor of Merriam, Kansas, in 2008, he knew exactly what he was getting into.

He was on the police department in Merriam for 26 years, serving the last 13 as police chief.

“When I became mayor in 2008, I had attended every city council meeting, with the exception of maybe four or five, since 1992. So there were no surprises for me on the Mayor’s job,” he said.

For a city of its small size — only 4.5 square miles — it has 600 business, which makes it an interesting place to govern.

Tommy Lew /

Throughout the 20th Century our perception and treatment of cats and dogs changed from that of working animal to treasured companion. We brought them inside and made them members of our family. As society changed, however, those animals went from the constant stimulation from and occupation with the outdoor environment to that provided by stay-at-home mothers and children to often being home alone for eight hours or more every weekday.

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Let the cat out of the bag.

The cat’s pajamas.

Cat got your tongue?

Curiosity killed the cat.

These are just a few of the saying about cats that show how entrenched they are in our everyday lives. But even as wonderful as cats may be sometimes the relationship between pet and human can be strained.