Mexico Presidential Palace Cats!

I've mentioned before that cats are well-loved throughout the world, but did you know that the cats that live in Mexico's National Palace have been declared "living fixed assets"? According to the Associated Press, this means that the treasury is obligated to feed and care for them for the rest of their lives, even when the current president leaves office in October. 

The article reports that staff members remember cats living in the gardens as far back as 50 years ago, and that these Mexican cats have become a symbol of the National Palace. It is unclear when they first got in or even how they got into the building, but there are 19 cats that live in the building now, along with many more that come and go. There is a small crack in the palace gate that the staff suspect they use to slip in and out of at night. 

The general director of the Mexico National Palace, Adriana Castillo Román, says that the cat-loving employees were quietly taking care of the cats by sharing their lunches and sometimes bringing them canned food or rice and soup from home. In order to better take care of these beloved presidential palace cats, the staff made them little cat homes and feeding stations around the garden. They also worked with vets to vaccinate, sterilize and chip them. They even have a palace veterinarian now, Jesús Arias, to make sure they are always cared for. 

Veterinarian Jesús Arias says that they have free reign of the palace, so they sit in on state meetings and interviews. Perhaps the most famous of these Mx cats was named Zeus. The cat stood in front of the cameras during the president's morning press briefing and had to be carried off. Zeus was so well loved by the reporters, that the government had to ask them to stop bringing him treats because he was getting fat! Watch Zeus up to his antics in the presidential palace below!

Zeus has since passed away, but the palace is still well taken care of by it's resident cats, like Ollin, named after a word in Aztec that means movement, according to the AP article, Nube, named after the Spanish word for cloud, and Bowie, named after David Bowie, who had visited the palace to see the famous mural by Mexican painter Diego Rivera. All these cats and more are said to dominate the presidential palace and often accompany the president during official functions. 

So, I think it's safe to say we can official add Mexico to the list of places where cats are not only loved, but actually part of the culture that makes the city run! Viva Mexico cats!

Cover photo by Jorge Aguilar on Unsplash

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