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Cat Defender

Exposing the Lies and Crimes of Bird Advocates, Wildlife Biologists, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, PETA, the Humane Society of the United States, Exterminators, Vivisectors, the Scientific Community, Fur Traffickers, Cloners, Breeders, Designer Pet Purveyors, Hoarders, Motorists, the United States Military, and Other Ailurophobes

Monday, October 28, 2013

Slow to Recuperate from Life-Threatening Injuries Sustained in a Savage Mauling by an Unleashed Dog, Stubbs Announces His Intention to Step Down as Mayor of Talkeetna

Mayor Stubbs in His Office

"As you have read I don't think I will return to public life in the same manner as before. I had a great run and a very exciting life as mayor but it is time for Talkeetna to find a new mayor."
-- His Honor Mayor Stubbs

The recent news out of the tiny Alaskan town of Talkeetna was every bit as heartbreaking as it was shocking. The storybook relationship that the town, and the world for that matter, has had for the past sixteen years with its honorary mayor, Stubbs, is apparently nearing its end.

"As you have read I don't think I will return to public life in the same manner as before," His Honor announced October 18th on his Facebook page. "I had a great run and a very exciting life as mayor but it is time for Talkeetna to find a new mayor."

Even more distressing, Stubbs' abdication is a strong indication that his recovery from a savage dog attack on August 31st that left him knocking on death's door is not progressing as well as expected. Since his owner, fifty-four-year-old Lauri Stec of Nagley's Store, is not saying, the public has been left pretty much in the dark regarding his health but it does not take a clairvoyant to realize that his impending resignation could be anything but a positive omen.

"I am still recovering slowly but he (sic) has been able to make my way out to the front of the shop (Nagley's) and although not quite my old self I am feeling a bit better today," Stubbs confided in the Facebook posting. "I am still very stiff and hold close to Lori (sic) as I'm still a little jumpy around other animals and loud noises."

That is perfectly understandable in light of what recently happened to him. In fact, the attack was so ferocious and inflicted so much internal damage that it is nothing short of a miracle that the orange-colored, part-Manx tom is even still alive.

As best the grisly and horrifying story can be pieced together from various news accounts, Stubbs was on his way to get a dish of crabmeat at the Wildflower Cafe at 13578 East Main Street, which is only a short one- minute walk from Nagley's at 13650 East Main Street, when the unprovoked nighttime assault occurred. Notified by telephone at home by an unidentified party, Stec rushed to the vicinity of the attack and with considerable effort was able to eventually locate Stubbs bloodied and lying on the ground.

She then rushed him to Golden Pond Veterinary Services in Talkeetna where practitioner Jennifer Pironis was able to stanch the hemorrhaging and stabilize him. That was followed by a nightmarish ninety-six kilometer mad dash to the Big Lake Susitna Veterinary Hospital in Big Lake.

Stubbs was in such terrible shape that Pironis even brought along a jab of sodium pentobarbital in order to rob him of his precious life en route if his already dire condition had taken a sudden turn for the worst. Mercifully, that did not happen and her killing hand was stilled thus allowing the mayor to be safely delivered into the care of veterinarian Amy Lehman.

"I knew who he was when I got the call and so I knew who was coming, but I was never expecting this kind of circus to arise out of his being here," she later told KTUU-TV of Anchorage on September 5th. (See "Veterinarian Says Stubbs, Talkeetna's Cat Mayor, Lucky to Be Alive.") "But he's a cat, you know, so for me he's a patient and I'm treating him just like everybody else."

The extent of the mayor's internal injuries doubtlessly came as an even bigger shock to her than all the hoopla occasioned by having such an illustrious patient in her surgery. Specifically, he had a long, deep gash in his side that required twelve stitches to close.

He also had sustained a punctured lung, a fractured sternum, an unspecified number of broken ribs, and a bruised hip. The repairs, along with the insertion of a breathing tube, consumed three hours of Lehman's surgical expertise.

Stec, on the other hand, did not require a veterinary diagnosis in order to realize that the cat she had adopted sixteen years previously as a throwaway kitten was in bad shape; she could see that with her own two eyes. "The wound is deep, all the way into his ... you could see inside his body, and he had a punctured lung," she related to KVTA-TV of Anchorage on September 2nd. (See "Talkeetna's 'Mayor' Stubbs the Cat, Attacked by Dog.")

Thanks to Lehman's handiwork, Stubbs was back on his feet and eating on his own by September 5th. "That's a huge prognostic indicator for kitty cats that are in the hospital," Lehman told KTUU-TV in the article cited supra.

That also was the first time that Stec had been allowed to visit him since the night of the attack although it is far from certain that he even was aware of her presence due to the side effects of the painkillers and sedatives. "He's pretty out of it still," she told USA Today on September 7th. (See "Honorary Cat Mayor of Alaska Town Grabs Hearts Globally.") "His pupils were dilated. I could scratch his little ears until he fell asleep."

The Mayor and Lauri Stec

There likewise was not any conceivable way that Stec was able to conceal the profound loneliness that had enveloped her due to the mayor's long absence from home. "He sits in my office every day while I'm typing on my computer and, you know, keeps me company," she told KTUU-TV. "I miss him. We all miss him."

It was not until September 9th, however, that Lehman cleared Stubbs to return home. Initially, Stec confined him to a house that connects to Nagley's in the rear but after a few days she relocated him to his customary sleeping spot in a dogsled perched high atop a freezer inside the store itself. "He'll be with his pals," she told ABC News on September 10th in an oblique reference to the fox, caribou, beaver, and lynx furs that line the sled. (See "Honorary Feline Mayor Goes Home After Dog Attack.")

Once the severity of his injuries coupled with his advanced years (eighty in human terms) are taken into consideration, just making it out of the hospital was nothing short of a stupendous accomplishment in its own right. Nevertheless, his road to recovery was destined from the outset to be a long and arduous one that was going to include additional pain medication as well as frequent trips to the veterinarian.

Almost as importantly, the savage attack has placed in jeopardy the footloose and carefree lifestyle that he so cherishes. "He's going to have to curb back the social lifestyle for a few weeks, at least a month and a half, and we'll see how he's doing from that point on," Lehman told KTUU-TV. "It's going to take a long time for him to heal."

The outpouring of love and support from cat-lovers all around the world in wake of the attack has been nothing short of uplifting. "I'm getting cards and calls from Australia to Germany to fricking London to all over the lower forty-eight (states)," Stec told USA Today in the article cited supra.

9Lives® generously donated $3,000 to his veterinary care and Stec in turn has pledged that any leftover funds will be donated to Golden Pond and the Matanuska-Susitna Animal Shelter in Palmer. The cat food supplier's spokesperson, Morris, also sent Stubbs a get-well card via Facebook.

He also has received a package of organic catnip from an unidentified admirer in Canada who obviously is familiar with his indulgence in catnip-laced water from a wine glass at the West Rib Pub and Grill, which adjoins Nagley's. How long it will be, if ever, before he is seen once again bellying up to the bar and enjoying his favorite thirst-quencher is anybody's guess.

Not all of the public's reaction to the attack on Stubbs has been favorable to Stec, however. Some of her detractors have argued that she should have refused the donation from 9Lives® and instead paid the full veterinary tab out of her own pocket.

The bulk of the criticism has centered however on her policy of allowing Stubbs out into the mean streets of Talkeetna, which purportedly served as the model for the fictional town of Cicely in the 1990's CBS television show Northern Exposure, to roam unescorted and at all hours of both the day and night. "I'm even getting hate mail," she confided to KTUU-TV on September 9th. (See "Talkeetna's Honorary Cat Mayor Stubbs Gets PETA Care Package.")

Not about to be left out of the fun whenever there is either a cat or its owner to be disparaged and dragged through the mud, the no-good rotten feline defamers and mass murderers at PETA could not resist piling on and shoving in an unwanted oar. "Maybe he (the attacking dog) was a yellow-dog Democrat feeling disenfranchised in a town run by a fat cat from the Grand Old Purrty," is how the organization's Alisa Mullins tastelessly attempted to make light of the horrific attack in a September 10th press release. (See "Get Well Soon, Mayor Stubbs!")

Although the empty skulls at PETA, like many Americans, may revel in the shenanigans of the Democrats and Republicans, no self-respecting cat would touch either party or their self-serving policies with so much as a proverbial ten-foot pole. The same likely could be said for dogs as well.

The organization also sent Stubbs a cheap and tawdry care package that included a blanket, toys, herbal treats, and a copy of Ingrid Newkirk's 1998 anti-cat propaganda offering to the world, Two-Hundred-Fifty Things You Can Do to Make Your Cat Adore You. Accompany the organization's beau geste was a letter addressed to Stec from Alicia Woempner that amounted to little more than a crude rehash of its avid support for the American Bird Conservancy's cats indoors agenda.

"But cats can be perfectly happy running the world from the safety of an executive mansion, especially when provided with toys, scratching posts and 'trees,' catnip and cat grass, and large windows or screened porches from which to survey their domain," the press release and, presumably, the letter as well declared.

Stec wisely responded by telling the phony-baloney, totally dishonest, and unscrupulous organization exactly what it could do with its propaganda missive. "I will be closely monitoring him, but when he feels better, he will be let outside," she pledged to the Alaska Dispatch of Anchorage on September 10th. (See "Mayor Stubbs: Wily Alaska Cat's Vet Bills Paid by Another Well-Known Feline Named Morris.") "He's been roaming Talkeetna since he was a kitten. Caging him up inside would kill him."

Stubbs and His Horrific Injuries

In much the same fashion as a broken clock is said to be able to get the time correct twice a day, PETA in this particular instance did offer up one suggestion that is worthy of consideration. "...PETA is also urging Stubbs' 'chief of staff,' Lauri Stec... to prevent an untimely coup by advising Mayor Stubbs to stay closer to his 'office' from now on," the organization stated in the press release. "We recommend that, if he must leave for official business, he wear a leash and harness and be accompanied by a member of his entourage at all times."

Stec, however, has even rejected that modest proposal. "He's a loved cat, he's very well taken care of," she vowed to KVTA-TV of Anchorage on September 11th. (See "Contributions Pour in for Injured Cat 'Mayor' of Talkeetna.") "I'm not going to put him on a leash and I'm not going to put him on a harness."

The ultimate resolution to this extremely troubling dilemma likely will depend upon the level of Stubbs' recovery and even that is still very much in question. In particular, the point could be moot in that his health may not permit him to do very much roaming.

Regardless of that, two things seem to be clear. First of all, considering the large number of unleashed dogs that inexplicitly are allowed to roam the streets of Talkeetna, Stubbs should not be allowed outside under any circumstances without an escort. He does not necessarily need to be leashed and harnessed but someone should be watching over him.

Secondly, he should not be allowed out at night. If he wants to visit either the West Rib Pub and Grill or the Wildflower Cafe he should be provided with a chaperon.

All too often many individuals make the unforgivable mistake of failing to realize the true value of their cats until they are long gone and in Stubbs' case he is far too wonderful and valuable of a companion to be delivered up to vicious dogs on a silver platter. More to the point and as Stec is acutely aware, the mayor has had several close calls with disaster in the recent past.

In 2008, for example, he was shot in the rear by a group of evil teens armed with air guns. Sometime thereafter he unwittingly scampered aboard a garbage truck and as a result was transported to the outskirts of town before he finally was able to jump off and walk back home. Only last year he fell into a fryer at a local restaurant but luck was on his side on that occasion in that the appliance was cold and he thus was able to escape unscathed except for getting his fur soaked in oil.

Ailurophobes are another pressing concern and Talkeetna, like every other city on the planet, certainly has its share of them. "His biggest political rivals would be other local businesses that would hate that he comes over and takes a nap and leaves fur everywhere," Skye Farrar of Nagley's told the New York Daily News on July 17, 2012. (See "Cat Has Been Mayor of Alaska Town for Fifteen Years.") "They aren't big fans of him. We usually say, 'You have to deal with it. He runs the town'."

On such detractor is Patti Callen of the Mostly Moose Gift Shop at 13594 East Main Street. "He likes to hang out in here but we can't let him, because we can't sell cat hair shirts," she told The Wall Street Journal on October 15th. (See "Mayor of Alaskan Town Is a Cat.")

Wildlife advocates, such as local outdoor writer Peter Mathiesen and his unnamed wife, have a palpable dislike for Stubbs and, presumably, all cats as well. "My wife hates cats and gets totally creeped out eating at the pub (West Rib) with Stubbs," he candidly admitted to The Wall Street Journal.

Those sentiments are on a par with those expressed earlier this year by outdoor writer Ted Williams of the National Audubon Society when he advocated that cats be poisoned with Tylenol.® (See Cat Defender post of May 18, 2013 entitled "Ted Williams and the National Audubon Society Issue a Call for Cats to Be Poisoned with Tylenol® and Then Try to Lie Out of It.")

The hatchet job that outdoor writer Bruce Barcott did on cats with the full support and cooperation of the equally ailurophobic Sulzberger gang at The New York Times is yet still another poignant reminder of how individuals like him, Mathiesen, and Williams think and behave. (See Cat Defender post of December 8, 2007 entitled "All the Lies That Fit: Scheming New York Times Hires a Bird Lover to Render His 'Unbiased' Support for James M. Stevenson.")

In the best of all worlds, Hugh Chisholm's decision to provide Tuxedo Stan with a large, fenced-in yard known as Catopia would be the ideal solution for most cats. (See Cat Defender post of September 26, 2013 entitled "Former Halifax Mayoral Hopeful Tuxedo Stan Is Killed Off by His Owner after Chemotherapy Fails to Halt the Onslaught of Renal Lymphoma.")

Stubbs Grabbing Some Well-Deserved Kip

Stubbs' history, personality, and inclinations are far different from those of Stan however and because of that cooping him up indoors could prove to be detrimental to his health. As difficult as the task may be, Stec needs to arrive at some sort of a compromise that will allow Stubbs to continue to enjoy a measure of his former lifestyle while at the same time ensuring his safety and well-being.

As far as Newkirk's old tome is concerned, the best use that Stec could make of it would be as cheap fuel in order to ignite a blaze in her fireplace on cold Alaskan night. Although the urge must indeed be great, she must resist the temptation to use it as wiping paper.

Given the high acidity level of the contents, doing so would be almost certain to give her a case of the piles so severe that even a boxcar load of Preparation H® would be unable to assuage. If on the other hand she should elect to wade through it, she would be well advised beforehand to ignore Newkirk's sottise about transforming obligate carnivores, such as Stubbs, into vegetarians.

Much more importantly, she and everyone else need to always bear in mind that if PETA had discovered Stubbs covered in blood and near death on that fateful August night it would have killed him on the spot without so much as a second thought. (See Cat Defender post of October 7, 2011 entitled "PETA Traps and Kills a Cat and Then Shamelessly Goes Online in Order to Brag About Its Criminal and Foul Deed.")

That petit fait alone makes it the very epitome of hypocrisy for the organization to lecture Stec on how best to care for Stubbs. By choosing without a moment's hesitation to do everything in her power in order to save his life she has demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt that as a human being she is worth considerably more than all of Newkirk's more than two-million brainwashed acolytes combined.

For example, at its shelter in Norfolk, Virginia, the organization annually exterminates upwards of ninety-eight per cent of all the cats and dogs that it impounds. Not only bereft of anything even remotely resembling a moral conscience, the organization also is far too miserly to provide sick and injured animals with veterinary care and too lazy to secure homes for the remainder.

Plus, whenever it runs of cats and dogs of its won to annihilate it dispatches its deaths squads to shelters in North Carolina and elsewhere in order to collect and kill even more animals before disposing of their corpses in private trash cans. (See Cat Defender posts of January 29, 2007 and February 9, 2007 entitled, respectively, "PETA's Long History of Killing Cats and Dogs Is Finally Exposed in North Carolina Courtroom" and "Verdict in PETA Trial: Littering Is a Crime but Not the Mass Slaughter of Innocent Cats and Dogs.")

PETA according has squandered any right that it ever may have had to speak on behalf of cats and accordingly all of its pronouncements on the subject should be treated with profound skepticism. Moreover, whatever relevancy that it still may somehow enjoy it owes to the capitalist media which, likewise, never has done very much worthwhile for cats.

Not much information concerning the attack itself has surfaced other than that the assailant was a mixed-breed dog. Given the extent of Stubbs' injuries, however, it is safe to make a few deductions.

First of all, the dog surely must have been a rather large one that either ambushed Stubbs or ran him down on open ground. Otherwise Stubbs likely would have been able to escape by either fleeing or climbing to a higher place; as things turned out he, unfortunately, never stood much of a chance against such a savage foe.

Secondly, the attack quite obviously went on for some time and that calls into question the conduct of the dog's owner who could have deliberately sicced it on Stubbs. It also is conceivable that the owner belatedly called it off and that is what ultimately spared Stubbs' life.

Stec apparently knows both the dog and its owner and has filed a complaint with Animal Control officers at the Matanuska-Susitna Animal Shelter but no arrest has been made. Moreover, it is extremely doubtful that the officers have so much as even cursorily looked into the matter.

That is due in no small part to the fact that unleashed dogs apparently are allowed to roam at will in Talkeetna. If it is not feasible to hold the dog's owner criminally liable, Stec ought to seriously consider instigating a civil lawsuit against either him or her.

For the time being, however, she seems content to let the matter die a natural death. "The dog has not been seen and neither has the owner," she told USA Today in the article cited supra. "I can guarantee you they will not come into this town again."

It is difficult to understand how she is able to make such a categorical statement especially in that her bravado is eerily reminiscent of similar sentiments expressed only a year earlier by an unidentified business owner. "I've never seen a dog mess with him (Stubbs)," the entrepreneur told Time Magazine on July 17, 2012. (See "Cat Marks Fifteen Years as Mayor of Alaska Town.")

The Mayor Outside His Favorite Watering Hole

Although the antipathy that exists between cats and dogs is of long-standing duration, there is more often than not a substantial human component involved whenever relations between them turn violent. For example, one of the favorite ploys of dog walkers is to sic their charges on cats and then to turn around and brand their victims as the instigators of these attacks. (See Cat Defender posts of October 18, 2009 and October 23, 2009 entitled, respectively, "Minneapolis Is Working Overtime Trying to Kill an Octogenarian's Cat Named Hoppy for Defending His Turf Against Canine Intruders" and "Essex Welfare Bum Who Sicced His Dog on Cats and Beat Them with His Cane Is Now Pretending to Be the Victim of an Assault.")

Another popular pastime, especially with teenagers and juveniles, is to feed cats and kittens to vicious dogs. For instance, on February 22, 2010 a group of at least ten teens on Carlton Drive in Strabane (County Tyrone) in Northern Ireland stole and fed a seven-month-old kitten named Bailey to a lurcher.

Bailey, who suffered multiple broken bones and lacerations, died en route to the veterinarian. "I just don't know how these young people can sleep at night after doing something like this," Bailey's anonymous owner later said. "They are nothing but scum!" (See Cat Defender post of March 24, 2010 entitled "Seven-Month-Old Bailey Is Fed to a Lurcher by a Group of Sadistic Teens in Search of Cheap Thrills in Northern Ireland.")

Both domestic and homeless cats also are stolen off the street by criminal syndicates so that they can be hunted by lurchers, labradors, and other large dogs. (See the Times and Star of Workington in Cumbria, October 9, 2012, "Fears Cats Being Stolen in Cumbria to Be Used as Hunting Dogs' Bait" and The Guardian, November 7, 2012, "Eight Dogs Impounded in Police and RSPCA Operation after Reports of Pets Being Chased in County Durham.")

As unspeakable as the atrocities committed against the species by these so-called sportsmen are, they nonetheless pale in comparison with both the scope and nature of those perpetrated by wildlife biologists. For example, on both Marion and Robben islands the South Africans employed dogs in order to track down cats so that they then could be assassinated by snipers. (See Cat Defender posts of March 23, 2006, April 27, 2006, and March 23, 2007 entitled, respectively, "South Africans, Supported by Ailurophobic PETA, Are Slaughtering More Cats on Robben Island," "Cat-Hating Monster Les Underhill and Moneygrubbing Robben Island Museum Resume Slaughtering Cats in South Africa," and "Bird Lovers in South Africa Break Out the Champagne to Celebrate the Merciless Gunning Down of the Last of Robben Island's Cats.")

Not about to outdone, the inveterate cat-haters and liars at the United States Fish and Wildlife Service also used dogs in order to eradicate the cats on San Nicolas. (See Cat Defender posts of June 27, 2008, July 10, 2008, April 28, 2009, November 20, 2009, March 16, 2010, and February 24, 2012 entitled, respectively, "United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the Navy Hatch a Diabolical Plan to Gun Down Two-Hundred Cats on San Nicolas," "The Ventura County Star Races to the Defense of the Cat-Killers on San Nicolas Island," "Quislings at the Humane Society Sell Out San Nicolas's Cats to the Assassins at the Diabolical United States Fish and Wildlife Service," "Memo to the Humane Society: Tell the World Exactly How Many Cats You and Your Honeys at the USFWS Have Murdered on San Nicolas Island," "Humane Society's Sellout of San Nicolas's Felines to the Assassins at the United States Fish and Wildlife Service Was the Biggest Cat Story of 2009," and "United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the Humane Society Hoist a Glass in Celebration of Their Extermination of the Cats on San Nicolas Island.")

In Arnhem Land in Australia's Northern Territory, dogs currently are being used in order to hunt down cats so that they can be equipped with radio transmitters that will track their movements and activities. Once the scientists have collected a sufficient amount of data that they feel will justify their elimination, the cats, whom they disparagingly refer to as pests, will be hounded down a second time and hideously killed. (See Northern Territory News of Darwin, October 14, 2013, "Scientists Calls in the Dogs to Control Pests.")

Au premier coup d'oeil it would appear that cat and dog owners would have a considerable amount in common but that is hardly the case. The marked disdain that canine owners harbor in their bosoms for cats was vividly demonstrated only recently in a guest column that Kevan Cleary of the Animal Law Committee of the New York County Lawyers Association authored for the New York Daily News on October 14th. (See "Fight for the Life of Every Dog.")

In the process of lambasting the administration of outgoing New York City Mayor Mike "Dirty Bloomers" Bloomberg for its abject failure to transform the city's abysmal shelters into no-kill operations, Cleary cries a proverbial river for dogs but scarcely even mentions the plight of cats. Right off the bat he declares that "New York City Animal Care and Control is overwhelmed with abandoned dogs right now," but he conveniently neglects to mention that the city's shelters kill far more cats than dogs.

A little further along he laments that "thousands of dogs, most of them beautiful, kind dogs, are dying," but once again he fails to even acknowledge all the cats that are systematically exterminated in droves every day.

Even in setting forth his action plan in order to make New York a no-kill city he limits his appeal to dog lovers. "Here's an urgent agenda that those who love dogs should insist gets put into action immediately," he bellows just as if he were talking down to his naïve students at Tuoro and Brooklyn colleges, where he teaches, or shooting the breeze with his fellow legal eagles at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, which also pays him handsomely to run his big mouth.

To cap it all off, old dreary Cleary heaps piles of derision and scorn upon all those kindhearted and dedicated souls who dare so much as to care about the fate of kittens that are abandoned in the city's labyrinthine subway system and the shameful and utterly disgraceful plight of Manhattan's long-suffering carriage horses. "It is embarrassing that the longest sustained discussions of animal welfare in this election year have revolved around a relatively small number of carriage horses and two kittens found near subway tracks," he boils over with with self-righteous moral indignation.

Au contraire, what is truly embarrassing is old thingamajig Cleary's profound selfishness and abysmal narrow-mindedness. First of all, individual cats and horses, like individual dogs, do count and saving their lives is not only important but a moral imperative as well.

The Mayor Enjoying a Tipple of Catnip and Water

Secondly, if he thinks for one moment that the shelter system in this country can be changed for the better in even the tiniest manner without the inclusion of cats and their supports in the process he is wasting his breath.

Thirdly, it is nothing short of hypocritical that he would tacitly condone the running down of defenseless cats and kittens with speeding locomotives while simultaneously whining about shelters killing dogs. Fourthly, anyone who would turn a blind eye to how horribly the city's carriage horses are treated can hardly be considered to be a friend of animals.

The only purpose that Cleary's unctuous gruntings serve is to demonstrate that cat-lovers have about as much in common with dog advocates as they do with ornithologists and wildlife biologists. That is not surprising in that about the only thing Americans are good for anyway is fighting; cooperation, like sharing, is a dirty word as far as the majority of them are concerned.

As far as possible successors to Stubbs are concerned, no one so far as come out and publicly declared either his or her intentions to replace him. That more than likely is attributable at least in part to the enormity of the task itself.

"Those are difficult paws to fill," Susan Mossaner of Denali Brewing Company said of Stubbs in The Wall Street Journal article cited supra.

"We don't know what we'd do without him, really," twenty-seven-year-old fisheries biologist Leah Vanden Busch added to The Wall Street Journal.

"I'm very confident that Talkeetna will be A-OK as long as we have Stubbs around," Farrar told KTUU-TV on July 13, 2012. (See "Talkeetna Mayor Is a Cat Named Stubbs.")

Other residents are considerably less discerning so long as one particularly odious species of mammals is barred from office. "Anything's better than a human," forty-six-year-old Gil Gunther of the Antler Outpost chipped in to The Wall Street Journal.

If there is one thing that both Stubbs' fans and detractors can agree upon it is his financial value to the community. "Oh my gosh, we probably have thirty to forty people a day come in (to Nagley's) who are tourists wanting to see him," Stec stated last year. "He was just in Alaska Magazine (April 2012 edition), and he's been featured in a few different things." (See Cat Defender post of September 25, 2012 entitled "Talkeetna Has Profited Handsomely from Mayor Stubbs' Enlightened Leadership but the Lure of Higher Office Soon Could Be Beckoning Him to Change His Address.")

As for the mayor himself, he remains every bit as humble upon leaving office as he was when he first assumed power all those years ago. "I only hope I have served them (the residents of Talkeetna) with as much love and respect as you (sic) all have shown me," he stated in the Facebook posting cited supra. "I love you all -- meeow!"

On that count the mayor can rest easily because he has done considerably more for the city of Talkeetna than it ever did for him. Regrettably, some residents are far too consumed with selfishness and ailurophobia in order to realize that.

It is a moot point anyway because Talkeetna will survive with or without Stubbs. What matters now is that he makes a full recovery and thus is able to live out the remainder of his days in both good health and security.

Finally, although individual replies cannot be guaranteed, those wishing to send him either a get-well card or a special treat can do so by writing to him at Nagley's Store, 13650 East Main Street, Talkeetna, AK 99676.

Photos: Jim Carlton of The Wall Street Journal (Stubbs at work and with Stec), Lauri Stec (Stubbs and his injuries), Big Lake Susitna Veterinary Hospital (Stubbs napping), Queen of Subtle of Flickr (Stubbs outside a bar), and Facebook (Stubbs drinking out of a wine glass).