Residents of the small town of Talkeetna, Alaska, are mourning the loss of a beloved member of their government. The town’s unofficial mayor, a cat named Stubbs, has passed away at the ripe old age of 20.
Stubbs has been the honorary mayor of Talkeetna since 1997.
Lauri Stec, manager of Nagley’s General Store in Talkeetna, found the orange tabby cat in a box full of kittens in her parking lot. She named him “Stubbs” because he did not have a tail.
A popular rumor states Stubbs was elected following a successful write-in campaign by voters who opposed the human candidates. However, according to NPR, the cat could not have been elected as a write-in candidate because the town is only a “historical district” and has no real mayor. Stubbs’s position is honorary.
Nagley’s General Store doubled as Stubbs’ Mayoral Office and that’s where the tabby spent most of his time palling around with constituents – sleeping and sipping water laced with catnip from a wine glass.
Last Thursday, Stubbs went to sleep and never woke up, his owners the Spone Family said in a statement. They also said their cat Denali, “truly has some really big paws to fill in for with his new duties and responsibilities.”