Stubbs, small Alaska town’s honorary cat mayor, dead at…

TALKEETNA, Alaska — Stubbs, the honorary feline mayor of the Alaska town of Talkeetna, has died at the age of 20.

The animal’s owners announced the cat’s death late Saturday in a statement.

“Stubbs lived for 20 years and 3 months,” the Spone family wrote. “He was a trooper until the very last day of his life; meowing at us throughout the day to pet him or to come sit on the bed with him and let him snuggle and purr for hours in our lap. Thank you, Stubbs, for coming into our lives for the past 31 months; you are a remarkable cat and we will dearly miss you. We loved the time we were allowed to spend with you.”

According to Stubb’s family, Mayor Stubbs, as the cat was most commonly known, went to bed Thursday and died overnight, CBS affiliate KTVA-TV reports.

Talkeetna, a town with a population of about 900, elected the yellow cat mayor in a write-in campaign in 1998.

There is no human mayor in the town.

Stubbs had survived an attack by a dog in 2013, KTVA-TV reports, and a false report of his death last year. But by late 2016, he was largely staying at home instead of being out and about at local Nagley’s General Store.

In a Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013 photo provided by Lauri Stec, shows Stubbs, a cat that has been the longtime honorary mayor of Talkeetna, recovering at the Big Lake-Susitna Veterinary Hospital from an attack by a dog in Big Lake, Alaska.

AP

Stubbs shared the home with other kittens named Aurora and Denali, KTVA-TV writes. “After a day or two of him giving them the eye and a little growl here and there; they became best friends,” the family wrote. “He got some spunk back playing with kittens. He would even swat at them as they passed and snuggle in his bed with them at night.”

On Thursday night, Stubbs went to bed curled up next to Aurora, KTVA-TV explains. When the family woke up Friday, “he was already in heaven.”

Although Stubbs is gone, one of his owners’ kittens might be ready to take up his mayoral mantle.

“Amazingly, Denali has the exact personality as Stubbs,” the family wrote of the kitten. “He loves the attention, he’s like a little puppy when he’s around people. We couldn’t have asked for a better understudy than Denali — he really has followed in Stubbs’ pawprints in just about everything.”

The CBS affiliate also reports that the family asks well-wishers refrain from calling them, the store or the restaurant, and instead send cards or letters to the store at: P.O. Box 413, Talkeetna, AK 99676. A memory book of Stubbs photos is also being assembled, according to the station. Images can be emailed to info@NagleysStore.com.

© 2017 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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