Talkeetna mayor is a cat named Stubbs
TALKEETNA, Alaska (NBC) -- A cat named Stubbs has been the mayor of Talkeetna for nearly all of his life -- no joke.
It's been that way for more than a decade in the small tourist town that boasts nearly 900 residents.
The part-manx was named honorary mayor shortly after his birth, and now locals all know the cat as "Mayor Stubbs."
"He was just in the Alaska Magazine, and he's been featured in a few different things," said Lauri Stec, who works at Nagley's General Store in Talkeetna, where Stubbs hangs out most of the time.
As the story goes, 15 years ago several of the town residents didn't like the candidates who were running for mayor of Talkeetna, so as a joke, they encouraged enough people to elect Stubbs the cat as a write-in candidate, and he actually won.
Now, thanks to Stubbs, local tour guides have a little fun with the thousands of tourists who come through the town each summer.
"Their tour guides will trick them," said Skye Farrar, who also works at Nagley's. "They'll tell them to go to Nagley's and ask for the mayor."
"Oh my gosh, we probably have 30 to 40 people a day come in who are tourists wanting to see him," Stec said.
But if you'd like to catch him in person, there's one afternoon appointment that locals say Stubbs always keeps at Nagley's.
"Every day he goes in there and has catnip in a wine glass," said Talkeetna resident Jerry Roach.
As word about Stubbs spreads, the folks at Nagley's say more people are stopping by the store, and even making trips to Alaska just to spot the 15-year-old cat.
Farrar summed up Stubbs' mayorship and the benefit of added tourism it's brought to the town: "I'm very confident that Talkeena will be A-OK, as long as we have Stubbs around."