Alaska: a state known for its tradition of rugged individualism. The home of people who don’t put up with politics as usual. The home of a town whose citizens elected a cat for mayor.
Stubbs the cat became the mayor of the village of Talkeetna 15 years ago. The town’s residents were so unhappy with the two-legged candidates running for the position that they staged a write-in campaign and elected the barely weaned kitten to office.
He’s not the only feline mayor in America, but he was certainly the youngest to take the job.
The cat takes his duties seriously and visits his constituents on a daily basis. Although he does wander around town to check out the action at local businesses, he has chosen Nagley’s General Store as his office.
Stubbs is a pretty high-maintenance mayor, though: He demands to be picked up and placed on the store’s counter. He has a fit if he’s not taken away from grabby tourists when he’s tired of receiving their attention. He’ll only drink catnip-laced water — which must be served in a wine glass — and he often foregoes mere cat kibble in favor of fresh Alaskan snow crab.
But the fine folks of Talkeetna don’t seem too worried about Stubbs’ posh lifestyle. First of all, he’s quite the tourist attraction: Like any good mayor, he’s bringing revenue to his town and more than making up for the cost of his crab morsels.
In Talkeetna, the position of mayor is more symbolic than functional. But as a symbol, he stands for everything great about the town: individualism, friendliness, and apparently a heck of a sense of humor!
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