A yellow cat named Stubbs has shuffled off this mortal coil after serving 19 of his 20 years as the elected mayor of a small town in Alaska. Talk about your political animals!
A statement released by Stubbs' family confirms the world has lost one its longest-serving elected officials, humans included. Indeed, “Mayor Stubbs” must have done something right to have kept his chain of office for so long. Perhaps his being a cat had something to do with his longstanding popularity: Stubbs could be neither influenced not bribed... as long as he was well-fed at home, anyway.
Stubbs appeared to be well on his way to living a normal life when fate intervened: Stubbs was appointed to the position of Honorary Mayor. As tiny (pop. 876 as of 2010) Talkeetna is governed by a community council, it has no actual mayor and holds no elections.
One advantage of this system is that once someone (or in Stubbs' case, some thing) is appointed to be mayor, he she or it is mayor for life. Ol' Stubbs passed on at the peak of his earthly powers – you and I should be so lucky!
But we are not here to mourn Stubbs, but to praise him. The scruffy yellow-furred feline was near-universally loved, though an unleashed dog who attacked and injured him in 2013 can't be counted among his fans. The tough 'ol tabby brought international attention to tiny Talkeetna, not to mention visitors who came from as far as Germany after hearing about him.
What will Talkeetna do now that Stubbs has gone to hairball heaven? One option is appointing Denali, one of Stubbs' two “kid brothers”, to the position. “Amazingly, Denali has the exact personality as Stubbs,” according to Stubbs' human family.
“He loves the attention, he's like a little puppy when he's around people,” the family added. “We couldn't have asked for a better understudy than Denali – he really has followed in Stubbs' pawprints in just about everything.” Good to know Talkeetna won't be going to the dogs any time soon! (images via Chris Fernandez and Jenni Konrad)