Last week, the honorary mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska—a very distinguished cat by the name of Stubbs—passed away. Stubbs, age 20, took his leave peacefully on Thursday night, after settling down to sleep.
According to the Associated Press, Talkeetna is a small town with a population of about 900. In 1998, they elected the affable feline through a write-in campaign. Mayor Stubbs, as he was commonly known, governed alone—he had no human counterpart.
On Saturday, Mayor Stubbs’ owners released a statement assuring his constituents and fans that he departed this world purring. Via AP:
“‘Stubbs lived for 20 years and 3 months,’ the family wrote. ‘He was a trooper until the very last day of his life; meowing at us throughout the day to pet him or to come sit on the bed with him and let him snuggle and purr for hours in our lap. Thank you, Stubbs, for coming into our lives for the past 31 months; you are a remarkable cat, and we will dearly miss you. We loved the time we were allowed to spend with you.’”
Over the course of his tenure as mayor, Stubbs demonstrated significant resilience. In 2013 he survived a dog attack. Last year, rumors circulated as to his death. While they were untrue, Stubbs spent the latter part of the 2016 resting at home. Previously he had met with his public at Nagley’s General Store.
His owners report that one of their kittens, a young sir by the name of Denali, has the stuff to fill the mayoral vacancy.
“Amazingly, Denali has the exact same personality as Stubbs,” they wrote. “He loves the attention, he’s like a little puppy when he’s around people. We couldn’t have asked for a better understudy than Denali—he really has followed in Stubbs’ pawprints in just about everything.”
Clearly, Mayor Stubbs was a Very Good Cat. His legacy is an admirable one: he has left his town with warm memories of gentle leadership. Let’s raise our glasses to Stubbs and hold our own animal companions close tonight.