The mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska, was brutally mauled by a dog last weekend, but is now on the road to recovery.
Stubbs the cat — who got his name because he has no tail — has been "mayor" of the 900-person town for 16 years. (Talkeetna is run by a community council and doesn't have an actual mayoral position.)
The four-legged mayor was strolling through the community Saturday night when an unleashed dog attacked him. The incident left the tabby cat with a punctured lung, fractured sternum and a 5-inch gash in his side.
Stubbs’ owner, Lauri Stec, rushed him to a veterinary clinic an hour away, and a local vet rode with her through the heavy rain. The vet wasn’t sure Stubbs would survive the trip, so she brought along a euthanasia kit.
But Stubbs pulled through. Doctors removed his chest tube Tuesday, and the cat is breathing on his own for the first time since the attack.
"He’s a freaking tough boy," Stec told The Washington Post.
Before Saturday’s attack, Stubbs had already used up a couple of his nine lives. He’s survived being shot by a BB gun and falling into a cold fryer vat at the West Rib Pub and Café, the restaurant attached to Stec’s general store.
Stubbs’ unlikely political career earned him headlines and brought him international fame. Today, he has his own Facebook page with more than 32,000 followers, and fans far outside his constituency are sending donations to cover his veterinary bills.
The cost of his medical care could top $2,000.
Stec reported the dog attack to animal control officers, but so far there are no suspects in the assassination attempt.
Meanwhile, the people of Talkeetna are anxiously awaiting the return of their mayor. They’re keeping his wine glass filled with his favorite kitty cocktail — water with a catnip garnish — and contributing to his donation jar at the general store.
"We all love him," said Geoff Pfeiffer, a waiter at the West Rib Pub and Cafe, noting that the mayoral manx is the center of attention whenever he strolls in. "It’s like Elvis has entered the building."
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