Starting a week from today, cat owners in Montgomery County must license their pets or face $25 fines.

A new Montgomery law that goes into effect next Thursday requires the owner of any cat aged 4 months or older to have the animal licensed and vaccinated against rabies.

Cats will have to wear tags around their necks or be tattooed with a six-digit control number that can be checked by authorities.

On Oct. 11, the day fees for cats are imposed, fees for licensing dogs will drop. It will cost $5 to license altered dogs and cats, $10 for pets that are unaltered. Senior citizens and those receiving public assistance funds may pay $2 and $4, respectively, to license their altered and unaltered pets.

Charles A. Maier, who served Republican and then Democratic bosses in his 13 years as a Montgomery County government official, resigned last week to take a job with a private advertising company in Bethesda.

Maier was honored Friday at a reception that drew former county executive James P. Gleason and assorted aides, County Executive Charles W. Gilchrist and his staff, several reporters and about 50 others.

Gleason, Maier's political mentor, hired Maier as a special assistant and later named him head of Montgomery's Office of Information and Volunteer Services in 1978, the year Gilchrist was first elected.

Gilchrist, scanning the dozens of faces at Maier's reception, joked that "Everyone seems to be here but Leonard Colodny," a figure in the "Liquorgate" controversy that dogged Gilchrist in the early months of his administration.

Maier, 36, of Takoma Park, left county government to become a vice president of Ehrlich-Manes & Associates, an advertising and public relations firm in downtown Bethesda.

Vicki Lathom, 44, Maier's assistant, was named acting director of the county information office.

The disability benefits paid to former Montgomery government employes are too low, a special task force on worker compensation said this week. The task force compared county benefits with those paid by neighboring jurisdictions.

In a report to County Council members, the Compensation Task Force recommended increases in benefits paid to those workers who retire for a disability suffered on the job.

Those benefits, which can amount to 60 percent of a worker's final salary, are now "clearly less liberal than the surrounding communities," the group said.