To hear the locals tell it, during the town's mayoral election some 15 years ago, residents who were unhappy with the candidate selection were encouraged to write in the name of a newly born kitten instead.

And Mayor Stubbs has ruled Talkeetna, Alaska (pop: 900) with an iron paw ever since.

The position is mostly honorary, allowing the 15-year-old Manx mix to spend most of his time greeting tourists at Nagley's General Store. "Every day he goes in there and has catnip in a wine glass," said resident Jerry Roach.

"Their tour guides will trick them," Nagley's employee Skye Farrar says of the thousands who make their way to the Anchorage-adjacent travel destination for fishing and flightseeing. "They'll tell them to go to Nagley's and ask for the mayor."

In fact, Stubbs has become so popular that folks have started trekking up to Talkeetna just to see him. "I'm very confident that Talkeena will be A-OK, as long as we have Stubbs around," said Farrar.

[screengrab via KTUU via KSDK]