Stubbs, Talkeetna’s honorary mayor cat, has made national and international news twice in recent years. First, it was the mere existence of a feline mayor, and the associated media frenzy that accompanies strange things on slow news days. The second round of media attention came when Stubbs was attacked by a dog during Labor Day weekend last year. That incident resulted in dozens of cards and well-wishes being sent to Nagley’s General Store, where Stubbs holds the imaginary mayoral seat.
Yesterday, the Alaska Dispatch ran a story that could well start the viral craze all over again: Stubbs may be retiring. The story quotes Stubbs’ chief of staff, Lori Stec, as saying that the seventeen year old male cat might be starting to slow down, and maybe it’s time to enjoy a retirement full of sunshine and catnip.
Note that I did say “male” cat. That’s what makes the story strange, but with a hopeful twist. Stubbs the cat is pregnant.
Lori Stec says she was as shocked as everyone else by the unexpected pregnancy, though not for the same reason. She says she’s known Stubbs was female for years, but just assumed she was past childbearing age. When asked why she refers to Mayoress Stubbs as “he” in media interviews and to visitors, she explains that people assumed the mayor was male, and she eventually fell into the habit as well. Lori Stec says a female mayor would be believable, as would a cat mayor, apparently, but a female cat mayor would stretch it too far.
The father of the mayoral kittens is also a mystery. Lori Stec says anyone who knows the father is encouraged to contact her so that kitten support can be arranged. Stubbs’ first ultrasound is scheduled for today.