I wouldn't say North Carolina is better. They just experience a different type of oppression. The sad fact is some of them don't realize it.
I spent MLK day driving with a friend to Hamlet, NC from Columbia, SC. After four hours of driving through backwoods highways and state forest, North Carolina just seems like a better state. Once you cross the state border, NC just seems a bit greener and there are a lot less random trailers sitting out in the middle of archers of woods. So I wouldn't be surprised if the state is a bit more tolerant of were cats.
The Carolinas can be a bit of a weird place, especially when you get outside of the cities.
Anyway, if your still taking characters, I have a couple of ideas, I'll see if I can't put something together.