The face of a winner.
Screenshot: WNDU

It’s a lot of responsibility for a cat to do anything in addition to just being a cat, so thank goodness for term limits.

WNDU reported on Monday that the small town (280 residents) of Omena, Michigan inaugurated as its fourth mayor a 9-year-old cat named Sweet Tart on Saturday. Sweet Tart beat out 13 dogs, a goat, a peacock, a chicken, and a less politically feasible cat for the position.

More than 7,000 people voted in the election, and at $1 a vote the proceeds went to the Omena Historical Society. Keith Disselkoen, president of the historical society explained how that came to be:

“They have their paw. We accept paw prints. Legal documents can be executed with a paw print. Because of our internet reach, and because of our publicity, and because of the ability to receive PayPal, it’s really expanded the number of people that have participated.”

KXAN is diligent in noting that Omena did not invent making cats mayor. Stubbs, a cat, famously reigned as the unofficial mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska from 1997 until 2017, a long-ass time.

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In other feline news (NBC reported this out so I guess I can write about it with my serious face attached?) cat poop might be good for aspiring entrepreneurs. Specifically, a new study conducted by colleagues at the University of Colorado suggests that people infected with the Toxoplasma gondii parasite found in cat feces (which makes rodents less afraid to be eaten by the cats) were more likely to major in business and start their own businesses than people who were parasite-free. In the language of the NBC article, the cat feces parasite “may give people the courage they need to become entrepreneurs.”

Seems like a generous read, don’t you think? In my non-scientific, not-exactly-academic, definitely-not-controlled-by-cats opinion, this study indicates that people under the suasion of rat-managing chemicals are more likely to choose business careers. Which would not be an indication of courage so much as brainwashing.

In any case, I don’t think this has any bearing on the community of Omena—I genuinely believe they just love cats and fundraising.