Back in 1997, the residents of a small town in Alaska were fed up with their elected officials so instead they wrote-in a rescue cat to become mayor and the rest was history.
For 15 years, the remarkable Mayor Stubbs has represented the people of Talkeetna without issues, but unfortunately his honorary reign came to an end on July 23 when he took his final nap.
20+ years. Several uncontested elections. Thousands of naps. We had a good run. #RIPStubbs— Mayor Stubbs, a cat. (@MayorStubbs) July 23, 2017
The part-manx feline was found in 1997 abandoned in a box in the parking lot of Nagley's general store. Lauri Stec, the owner of the store, was the one who made the discovery and decided to keep Stubbs.
After winning the elections that same year, Stubbs was given an office at Nagley's and he soon became one of the most famous cats in the U.S. Tourists came from all over to pay visits to the popular mayor and he has even been featured in magazines!
"Over 75% of visitors ask 'Where's the mayor?' or come in with this statement 'I have an appointment with the mayor,'" the news release said. "I think we heard those two statements over 100 times a day during our first year."
Unfortunately, old age and the stress of the job started to affect his health in the last few years. Since 2015, Stubbs has slowly retracted from the spotlight and made very few public appearances.
"Stubbs did a couple TV shows and more than a handful of interviews, but was not fond of the camera and all the people; it had gotten to be too much for him," his owners said.
The steady decline led to his eventual demise and people everywhere are mourning the loss.
Click on the next page to see people's reaction to Stubb's death and who will be filling in his big shoes.
"I'm very confident that Talkeetna will be A-OK, as long as we have Stubbs around," said one of the town's residents a few years ago.
This was a sentiment that was echoed by everyone even those who lived outside of Talkeetna. He may not have been able to pass legislation but he united the people, so you can only imagine how it must have felt when Stubbs passed away.
"Stubbs lived for 20 years and 3 months," the Spone family wrote in a statement. "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."
Condolences and sympathy messages began to pour in shortly after a tweet announcing the sad news was sent out.
RIP Mayor Stubbs, the best politician there ever was. Have fun in Heaven.— That weirdo. (@PuzzlingSmirk) July 24, 2017
Your cat did something most humans will never do: govern the people 🐸☕️— Blogger (@Blog_N_Write) July 24, 2017
The last honest politician. #RIPstubbs— The Truth (@FNTruth) July 24, 2017
Nooooooooo!! My condolences to Mayor Stubbs' family. He was a great and honorable cat and mayor. #RIPStubbs— Nathan Jensen (@CobraNahk) July 23, 2017
It certainly won't be an easy task to find a replacement Mayor, but Stubbs' owners are confident that their other cat, Denali might be a good candidate for the position.
"Amazingly, Denali has the exact personality as Stubbs," the family said. "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."
Stubbs' family are asking for some privacy during this difficult time and have requested that well-wishers refrain from calling their home, restaurant or store. Instead they'll accept cards or letters to the following address: P.O. Box 413, Talkeetna, AK 99676.
The family is putting together a memory book dedicated to Stubbs' life and images so any images of the late cat can be emailed to info@NagleysStore.com.