Remembering Talkeetna’s honorary mayor

Few, if any, have left a paw print on Alaska quite like Stubbs.  The rusty orange cat who served as honorary mayor of Talkeetna lost the last of his nine lives in July, and his passing was mourned by fans across the state and the nation. He was 20 years old.

Legend has it that Stubbs was elected as a write-in candidate for mayor in 1998, despite the fact that Talkeetna, a town of 900 south of Denali National Park, is unincorporated and does not hold mayoral elections. Regardless of how he gained power, Stubbs rarely made controversial decisions in office and his gentle leadership earned him national notoriety and media fame. He spent most days lying around his office at Nagley’s General Store and taking pictures with the stream of tourists who would stop by for an appointment. Occasionally, he would pad into the adjacent restaurant and hop up on the bar for a cocktail of water and catnip.

Stubbs’ owners said one of their kittens, Denali, was a perfect understudy and happily accepts attention from strangers. In the power vacuum left behind by Stubbs, Talkeetna may soon have a new mayor. We’re assuming he likes his catnip cocktails shaken, not stirred.


Alexander Deedy formerly worked as the assistant editor and digital content manager for Alaska magazine.

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