I’ve been waiting for the right time to talk about this and I guess an endorsement from CNN’s Anderson Cooper is as good a time as any. In October the mayoral seat of the Halifax Regional Municipality, my municipality, will be up for election. There is one adorable candidate who has stolen a great deal of the media attention. Tuxedo Stan, a formerly feral kitten, is the official leader of the Tuxedo Party and is using the civic election to spread awareness about the plight of cats in the community.
He’s quite the handsome guy, isn’t he? Unfortunately, by-laws being what they are, cats aren’t allowed on the ballot. Which is too bad as I bet he can give one heck of a speech. He’d certainly increase viewership of the televised council meetings.
I think the idea is brilliant and I am so thrilled the people behind this have been successful at attracting large-scale attention. It’s not about winning the race but about education. As I’ve harangued everyone who reads this site, there is a massively massive stray and feral cat problem in my city. Massively. Massive. It’s impossible to say how many cats there are living outside in the 5,491 km² that make up the HRM. We just don’t know and there is no way to track. Other than private groups like the Tuxedo Party, there is no one willing to take up the cause. Unlike with dogs, there is no pound for cats at large. If you find a stray cat and the shelters are full, there is no where for the cat to go but back on the street.
Stan is just one three-year-old cat born from a feral mother. He represents so much more. Even though he found a home before he had to learn to fend for himself, most cats born in similar circumstances do not. I think we need more positive campaigns like this one and more beautiful success stories. Looking at Stan’s picture, it’s pretty hard to imagine a cutie like him scrounging for food under a garbage truck. Yet that could have been his fate.
And he isn’t just standing up for cats in Halifax. Here is a quote from his Facebook page:
“I feel very fortunate to live in Catopia. I’ve never known hunger, cold or abuse. I sleep in a warm, cozy bed every night. I get to play in a safe fenced yard every day. Unfortunately, there are cats all over the world who aren’t so lucky. You can help by donating money or time to a local rescue group.”
Personally, I’d vote in cats for every council position. They couldn’t be worse than some humans who’ve taken the job. My one qualm is a concern for the dogs. I don’t know that I trust a feline-controlled government to keep up the lovely dog parks we have in the region. Perhaps a coalition between the two would bring the best results.
What do you think? Would you vote for Stan?