Saturday 21 October 2017

US town's cat mayor hurt by dog

Stubbs has been the honorary mayor of Talkeetna in Alaska for 15 years (AP/Courtesy Lauri Stec)
Stubbs has been the honorary mayor of Talkeetna in Alaska for 15 years (AP/Courtesy Lauri Stec)

A US town's honorary mayor, Stubbs the cat, has been badly injured in a vicious dog attack.

The quirky Alaska community of Talkeetna elected the cat in a write-in campaign 15 years ago.

But now Stubbs is sedated and under veterinary care after the attack left him with a punctured lung, bruised hips, a long deep gash on his side and a fractured sternum.

The town is purported to be the inspiration for the town in the TV series Northern Exposure. It is a place dotted with artist shops, where bachelors are auctioned off at a yearly fundraiser and where women compete in a wilderness contest.

Even in such a place, Stubbs is a star.

"We all love him," said Geoff Pfeiffer, a waiter at the West Rib Pub and Cafe. The staff there hope to refill Stubbs' wine glass with water and a catnip garnish, a feline cocktail for a regular who commands attention every time he comes in.

"He's everybody's guy," said Stubbs' owner, Lauri Stec, who manages Nagley's General Store, where the orangey-beige cat lives and mingles with locals and tourists alike.

Ms Stec, who said she knows the dog that was involved, has reported the attack with borough animal control officials.

The next few days will be crucial in Stubbs' recovery, but the cat has begun to sit up and eat. A tube inserted in his lung has been removed.

Stubbs has his own Facebook page, filled with posts this week from well-wishers around the world.

There is also a Twitter account purporting to be from Stubbs, but Ms Stec said she is not involved with that account.

Donations from well-wishers as far away as Australia have been pouring in for Stubbs' veterinary bills.

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