Fans of Stubbs the cat, "mayor" of the tiny Alaskan town of Talkeetna, will be pleased to know that he is back home and recovering after being attacked by a dog August 31, 2013. His severe injuries included a punctured lung, fractured sternum and 5" gash on his side. The wounds were so serious that it was uncertain if he would even make it to the clinic in Wasilla.
But Stubbs is a fighter. This hasn't been the first attempt against his 9 lives. He has also survived a BB gun attack (with a BB still lodged in his body) as well as other adventures, like riding on a garbage truck before jumping off.
Stubbs was christened the honorary mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska and has managed his post since July of 1997. Technically, since the tiny town is categorized as an "historical district," there can be no actual mayor, which brings into question the popular rumor that Stubbs was a write-in choice after disgruntled voters rejected human candidates.
Regardless, Stubbs has enjoyed his rags-to-riches rise to fame after he was taken in by Lauri Stec, manager of Nagley's General Store, from a box of kittens in front of the store. Stec named the kitten "Stubbs" because he had no tail. Stubbs would patrol the streets of Talkeetna and would routinely be treated to catnip-laced water at the town bar. Tourists would get their pictures taken with him and fan mail is hung from around the world in the general store, his unofficial mayoral headquarters. The attack has only fueled his popularity, with his Facebook page having over 23,000 fans as of this post.
Stubbs also got the attention of PETA, who sent him a care package that included treats, toys, and a cat care book. Special projects manager Alicia Woempner suggested that Stubbs be watched more closely: "I'd also like to urge you, with all due respect, to prevent an untimely mayoral coup by ensuring that Mayor Stubbs remains safe indoors or is always wearing a harness and accompanied by at least one member of his entourage when he leaves his office." (She does have a point, given Stubb's previous misadventures.)
While I'm sure Stubbs appreciates their concern, Stec said, "I don't know what to say, except that he's been walking up and down the street for 16 years. People always want to get involved and they don't really know what's going on." (One has to admire that gritty Alaskan independence.)
Stec is more concerned about Stubbs getting depressed from confinement. While he will have to be kept quiet, she plans to let him return to his post soon. He will monitor things from his regular sleeping spot on top of a freezer that holds his bed - a non-PETA-approved mushing sled piled with furs of local wildlife.
Stubbs must be feeling better as he's posting on his Facebook page:
"I must thank my brother from another mother, Morris The Cat, for helping to cover my medical expenses. All donations I've received that exceed my expenses will be donated to the Mat-Su Animal Shelter, to support fellow animals in need."
Photos courtesy of Stubb's Facebook page.