Alaskans and animal lovers everywhere lost a model public servant earlier this week. It was with much sadness that the family of the Mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska, announced his passing. Stubbs the cat died in his sleep a few days ago.

Stubbs’s journey into electoral politics started in 1997, when the small town’s residents wrote in his name due to a lack of human candidates. Talkeetna’s population is under 1,000, but Stubbs never failed to bring in a steady stream of tourists into the town that is located near Denali National Park. In fact, Stubbs’s family wrote in a statement announcing his passing that “over 75% of visitors ask ‘Where’s the Mayor?’ or come in with this statement ‘I have an appointment with the Mayor.’”

Stubbs’s current family bought Nagley’s Store and West Rib Pub & Grill almost three years ago, and part of the contract stipulated that Stubbs stay with the store, which the the Spone family was more than excited about.

Stubbs was a true fighter throughout his life. In 2013, he was attacked by a dog in what may have been an assassination attempt on the popular mayor. Nevertheless, he persisted. Fortunately for Talkeetna’s residents, “even a punctured lung, fractured sternum and deep lacerations couldn’t keep him from his duties. Stubbs recovered and assumed all his previous mayoral responsibilities.”

Stubbs was a classy mayor until the end. He regularly drank his water from a martini glass, even after he stopped eating regular cat food.

Stubbs after what he calls “nearly every day here at the mayor’s office.”

Stubbs is survived by his family that includes two cats, including one named Denali, who seems to be his heir apparent.

While Stubbs has left us for cat heaven, he is far from alone in the realm of animals humans have loved so much that they trusted them with governing their lives. Dogs, goats, and cows, have also been elected to serve their constituents in elected capacities. They would make Stubbs proud.

For more profiles in nature, from the politics of mountain lions to US and China banning the ivory trade to the St. Augustine Monster to the Battle of the Cats to a Steve Irwin $100 bill to a deadly octopus to how 20% of fish eaten are mislabeled to a fish that weighs more than a pickup truck to a $300,000 fish to a fish named after Obama to a truly living “living fossil,” read here!