Working cats: Mayor

We've talked about some cats with jobs on this blog before, like ship cats and therapy cats, but did you know that there was a cat who had a job as a mayor?

The place was a small town in Alaska named Talkeetna where, in 1997, a box of kittens was placed in front of Nagley’s General Store and manager Lauri Stec selected an orange kitten with no tail and named him Stubbs. 

As the story goes, it was around that time that the residents of Talkeetna were unhappy with their mayoral candidates and started a write in campaign to select a different candidate and Stubbs the cat came out the victor! Now Alaska's News Source notes that Talkeetna is an unincorporated community and doesn't have an elected mayor, so his role as mayor was honorary, but that didn't stop mayor Stubbs from being a major part of of life in the tiny town for his 20 years in office!

The mayor cat sounds like he took his job of community building seriously. CNN  says he would often check in on local businesses, although often it was for a nap while he was there. According to Atlas Obscura, Stubbs the mayor had an eventful 20 years! They recount that he once fell into a fryer at a restaurant, which thankfully was turned off and cold at the time, so while I'm sure he was unhappy and needed some cleaning up, he was not injured. He was also shot with a BB gun and recovered. They also mention a time when he hitched a ride in a garbage truck and ended up on the outskirts of town before they realized and brought him back. But the worst incident came when the Alaska mayor cat had a run in with a dog and was seriously injured. All That's Interesting says he was left with a punctured lung, broken bones and deep cuts, and Atlas Obscura says he needed 12 stitches after this assassination attempt! Politics is dangerous business even if you are a cat mayor! True to his community building spirit, Atlas Obscura notes that the excess money donated to mayor Stubbs' medical bills from that encounter went to local animal charities. 

Stubbs did survive his run in with the dog and continued to serve as mayor for 4 more years until his death in 2016, when of course the town needed a new mayor. This time, they decided to carry on the work started by mayor Stubbs and chose twin cats Denali and Aurora as his successors as cat mayors! Unfortunately, Nagley's General Store notes that Denali passed away suddenly in 2022, but his sister Aurora is still carrying on the tradition of Alaska cat mayor! 

So, we started out by saying that there was a cat who had a job as mayor, but in fact at this point there have actually been 3 mayor cats! Maybe more towns should look into electing cats as their mayors too! What do you think? 

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