Mayor retires, then pouts and licks himself

Our latest column from William Thomas

The world’s longest serving female mayor has recently retired. Recently the mayor of Mississauga, Hazel McCallion retired after 36 years in office and … Wait! No! “Hurricane Hazel” did not retire. She simply drove into a lamp post and fossilized on the spot before police arrived at the scene of the accident.

That sentence should have read “feline,” not “female.” The world’s longest serving feline mayor has recently retired. Stubbs, now 20 years old in cat years is the world’s longest serving mayor of a town when it comes to office-holding, household animals. First elected Mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska in 1997, Stubbs has outlasted them all, including …

Boston Curtis, a sad-looking brown mule who was elected Republican precinct chairman of the town of Milton, Washington way back in 1938. A good, solid leader, all other candidates had to measure up to this ass.

The Honorable Clay Henry, the goat elected mayor of Lajitas, Texas in 1986 and drank himself to death in 1992. His son, Clay Henry Junior, with no such affinity for beer or even the cans it comes in, took over his post.

Bosco Ramos, a large, mixed-breed black dog held the title of Mayor of Sunol, California for over 13 years until 1994. After the dog’s death, relations between the new mayor and postal employees improved.

Cacareco, a massive two-ton rhinoceros was elected to the city council in Sao Paula, Brazil in 1958. Unable to operate a flush toilet, the meetings “Caca” attended were very short. Not to be outdone, the good citizens of Rio de Janeiro ran a chimp named Tiao for their mayor in 1988. His platform: “Vote monkey, get monkey!” (Sound familiar? “Elect a clown. Expect a circus!”) With 22,000 Brazilian families displaced by the 2016 Olympics and the structures now empty and in disrepair, many believe Tiao was the brains behind Rio’s Summer Games.

Yes, Stubbs has outlasted all other four-legged politicians in the world and even survived a vicious assault while strolling down the street of his town on a Sunday evening, minding his own business.

Attacked by … who else but a jealous dog. The yellow tabby who liked to nap a lot was brutally mauled four years ago and almost succumbed to his injuries. Doctors successfully repaired a punctured lung, a fractured sternum and a 5-inch gash on his side. Locals set up a system of pleading for donations and organizing bakes sales and car washes in order to raise enough money to cover Stubbs’ medical expenses. Today in Washington this system is called “Trumpcare.”

Stubbs operated his mayorship out of Nagley’s General Store for two decades and now, still licking those four-year-old wounds, he has quietly retired.

“It’s a shame,” said Ashley Kearns who works in a nearby pizza shop. “He’s the mayor, it’s not a joke. I know it’s ridiculous, but the town is run really well.” Ashley’s just one of the town’s 800 humans who believes the cat is doing a great job. In fact, it seems nobody in town has a bad thing to say about the mayor except that occasionally he misses his litter box and once he showed up at a council meeting with a mouse in his mouth.

Stubbs was just a playful little kitten when town voters passed on the human candidates officially posted on the ballot and elected Stubbs in a write-in vote. (Exactly how bleak is your political future when you resume shows you once lost an election to a candidate who cleans himself with his tongue?)

Stubbs likes to be chucked under the chin by his constituents as well as being picked up and cuddled so, yeah, he at least has those things in common with the mayor of Mississauga.

Stubbs might be the only mayor of any town in the world who sheds and scratches himself in public. Plus he’s a huge tourist draw for the town, attracting hundreds of travellers who get a photo with the mayor. Sadly he’s not much of a celebrity.

Not one for the limelight, Stubbs tolerates a few gawkers and then retreats to the back lot near the dumpster to sleep. As politics go, Stubbs is the only elected official in the history of politics to take more afternoon naps than Ronald Reagan. The Guinness Book of Records lists Stubbs’ rise to mayor as the most mind boggling election in the history of democracy except of course for Donald Trump.

A crafty legislator, Stubbs has previously pushed through his agenda by legalizing Colombian catnip, designating the human lap as a public property and starting a “treats-on-demand” policy for all cats as well as a free ball of string giveaway program for bored kittens. Stubbs was once charged with assault on a town councillor who dared to bring up the issue of “declawing.”

Staff at the general store claim they have actually heard Stubbs laugh out loud while watching his favourite sport on TV – several hundred stupid canines hauling humans on sleds from Anchorage to Nome for 12 days straight. They say when Stubbs hears the word “mush” he falls off the couch in a fit of laughter.

“He’s good. Probably the best we’ve ever had,” said Laurie Stec, until recently the owner of the general store and therefore the owner of the mayor as well. Plus he’s saved Talkeetna residents thousands of dollars by not flying off to that annual meeting of American mayors where he would be a real curiosity figure but not much of a keynote speaker. (Okay, you say it this time: “Sound familiar?”)

House pets as political leaders – could we do any worse?

For comments, ideas and copies of The Legend of Zippy Chippy, go to www.williamthomas.ca.

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