The people of Talkeetna, Alaska, are mourning the loss of their mayor, who was a really cool cat. The furry, four-legged Mayor Stubbs, who had been the "mayor" of Talkeetna since July 1997, passed away July 21. Born April 12, 1997, his position was only "honorary" as the town is a historic district, but he still drew in roughly 30 to 40 tourists daily and received countless cards and letters. The part-manx was popular among residents, who voted him into office in a write-in election a decade and a half ago when he was a kitten, after rejecting the human candidates on the ballot. In 1997, resident Laurie Stec, manager of Nagley’s General Store, saw a box of kittens and decided to adopt one. She named him Stubbs because he didn’t have a tail and soon the whole town was in love with him. Stec manages Nagley’s General Store and says the cat had been a good leader when it comes to local small businesses.
Every afternoon, until 2015, Stubbs went to a nearby restaurant and drank water out of a wine glass laden with catnip. Despite his high-maintenance habits, the mayor was well-loved in the town and online: He has more than 10,000 subscribers on Facebook under TalkeetnaMayorStubbs.
In the wake of his death, his owners hinted that another of their kittens, Denali, may assume his role."We couldn't have asked for a better understudy than Denali -- he really has followed in Stubbs' pawprints in just about everything."