A news report from last week that may have escaped your notice indicated that Mayor Stubbs, of Talkeetna, Alaska, was receiving medical care after being severely injured by a dog.
In an apparent nighttime surprise-attack by a loose dog, Stubbs sustained a punctured lung, bruised hips, and a long deep gash on his side, and his sternum was fractured badly enough that it might require being repaired with a plate. A veterinarian who accompanied Stubbs’ owner on the hour-long trip to a clinic where he could receive adequate care brought along a euthanasia kit because there was doubt as to whether the mayor would even make it there.
Wait, how’s that? Veterinarian? Euthanasia kit?
Um, Stubbs is a cat.
Yep, the 900 or so Americans who live in Talkeetna elected him as their municipal leader 15 years ago. What’s more, Stubbs – who was a strapping young yearling at the time of his election – was a write-in candidate.
Located 115 miles north of Anchorage, Talkeetna serves as the last stop for travelers and climbers visiting Mount McKinley (North America’s tallest peak, at 20,320 feet) and is billed as the inspiration for the town in the highly popular TV series, “Northern Exposure,” that aired on CBS from 1990 to 1995 (and was actually filmed in Roslyn, Wash.).
The off-beat little Alaskan berg barely occupies a wide spot in a moose trail, but Talkeetna features several artists’ shops, and hosts a yearly fundraiser ball where bachelors are auctioned off and a wilderness survival contest for women. But it’s now more famous for its feline politician than anything else.
Finding out about Stubbs got me thinking – of course.
I whole-heartedly believe I know of a 35-pound Pembroke Welsh Corgi who could make a whale (make that land manatee) of a political leader. I’m thinking that if Stubbs can do it, Jamie can.
Anyone who has noticed any of the columns I’ve helped him put together during the past couple of years already knows Jamie has a penchant for leadership, a great appreciation for what he thinks is right, and a keen snout for history. By applying those basic characteristics, he would likely thrive in a position of political authority.
I’ve run some ideas by him, and at this very moment he’s pondering a ground-breaking future as a canine elected official.
•Mayor Jamie: “There has been a lot of progress in this town in the recent past, and I can’t say I can’t take a lot of the credit. Certainly, many people with thumbs helped make it all possible, but I believe they needed a good delegator to give them direction, and I was just the Corgi to do it.”
•Sheriff Jamie: “So you say the gun found in your car that perfectly matched the weapon used in the crime belonged to your uncle’s neighbor, that the matching stories told by several witnesses implicating you are all lies, and that the residue found on your fingernails was mayonnaise, not meth. OK then, we’ll do a little verification of that, but in the meantime you’ll have to hold tight in a jail cell. I’d say we should be wrapped up with our investigation in, oh, about 37 years.”
•Senator Jamie: “Taxes are a necessity, but we have to find a way to administer them more wisely. I say we stop taxing dog toys, food and adoptions, and increase taxes on cat food, catnip, and anything else with that begins with the word or prefix ‘cat’ or by 637-percent.
“Also, I believe people wishing to have cats as pets should be required to obtain special permits, with costs of those permits beginning at 98-percent of a person’s yearly income.”
•President Jamie: “Now that you have given me this mandate to run – I mean improve your lives, I pledge to make sure there’s a $54,000 SUV in every garage and a pork chop bone on every lawn. And regarding recent reports that there’s too much Putin in Russia and the middle east, I say tell those people to quit eating so many beans.”
Jamie and I both hope Stubbs makes a full recovery from his unfortunate episode as a doggie chew toy. If this country is going to avoid the fall many people believe is inevitable, we’re going to need strong leaders like him to lean on.
And speaking of strong leadership, don’t be surprised if you see or hear “Jamie in 2016” commercials in the not too distant future. He’s not making any declarations just yet, but he hasn’t ruled out a run (or slow saunter) at an elected office.
And if he does, expect a spirited campaign, because this is one Big Lug who will be in it to win it.
Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald. Email: email@example.com.