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Working Cats: Miscellany 6 — Political Felines

Tuxedo Stan and Earl Grey of Halifax, Nova Scotia
Morris of Mexico

Stubbs is not the only feline to have political connections.
There have been numerous cats in British political institutions such as Downing Street and
the Treasury; and a number also have resided in America's White House over the years.

Tuxedo Stan

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Tuxedo Stan of the Tuxedo Party, Halifax, Nova Scotia, campaigning for cat issues

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Tuxedo Stan of Halifax, Nova Scotia Stan's brother Earl Grey of the Tuxedo Party, Halifax, Nova Scotia Earl Grey, campaigning for cats rights in Halifax, Nova Scotia In Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada there is the Tuxedo Party, which according to the mission statement on their Facebook page '... is a political movement aimed to improve the welfare of felines in Halifax Regional Municipality (and around the world) "because neglect isn't working".' They had two 'spokescats': Tuxedo Stan and his brother, grey-and-white Earl Grey. Sadly Stan died of cancer on 8 September 2013 at the very young age of 3½; there are many comments on his passing, and a lot of other information, at their website (link below) from where the following summary of their activities is taken:

Tuxedo Stan campaign poster for Tuxedo Party, Halifax, Nova Scotia The Tuxedo Party was formed in 2012 by a group of friends seeking solutions for the over-population of cats in the Halifax Regional Municipality. They were creative, and had Tuxedo Stan (a cat) run for mayor of Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM). While not officially on the ballot, it was a clever campaign to raise awareness of the plight of cats in HRM, and the dire need for a low-cost spay/neuter program (as other cities have). The success of the campaign surprised even the organizers — it reached news media/people around the world. It also spawned a line of Stan merchandise, the proceeds of which support Stan's favourite charity Spay Day HRM — a registered charity that helps people on low income to spay and neuter their cats.

Tuxedo Stan's campaign was successful. In April 2013, HRM Council unanimously approved a grant of $40,000 to the SPCA to construct a low-cost spay/neuter clinic. A low-cost clinic is the first important step in addressing the cat over-population.

Tuxedo Stan next set his sights on the provincial political scene; however, he succumbed to cancer just one day after the official announcement of the provincial election. The fight for the rights of cats will continue; Stan's brother, Earl Grey, has taken over the reins of the Tuxedo Party and will run for Premier of Nova Scotia. He plans to continue to lobby for affordable spay/neuter programs province-wide, to ensure cat issues are included in the revised Animal Protection Act, and to fight for fairness for cats.


El Candigato Morris - Morris the cat, mayoral candidate for Xalapa in Mexico, 2013


Xalapa, Mexico

Meanwhile in Mexico in July 2013, Morris the cat was claimed to have won 12,000 votes in the election for mayor of Xalapa, in the state of Veracruz, with his political candidacy that gained him headlines around the world. That was nowhere near enough to give the feline the mayoral job — but it did place Morris fourth in a field of 11 candidates in the race to run Xalapa, population 420,000. Morris earned more votes than the candidate from Mexico's most influential left-wing party, the PRD.

Morris the cat from Mexico, with mayoral campaign material Morris the cat who stood for mayor in Xalapa, Mexico, 2013 The idea of running a cat for mayor was devised a couple of months earlier by two recent university graduates, who said that they did not identify with any of the city's human politicians. On Facebook the grads joked that Morris would rid the city of its corrupt political 'rats', and said that voting for Morris would enable citizens to express their dissatisfaction with the city's rulers in an election 'that was already a joke'. Owner Sergio Camacho commented, 'He sleeps almost all day and does nothing, and that fits the profile of a politician.' The cat's candidacy was hugely popular online, and it prompted disgruntled citizens elsewhere in Mexico to nominate more animals for office.

Needless to say, Morris's campaign generated political controversy, but we don't wish to get too involved in Mexican politics. He couldn't be registered as an official candidate, not being human, and it seems likely that the 12,000 votes claimed came from those that had been counted as 'invalid'. Nevertheless, Morris's campaign team thanked their supporters online, and promised that the famous cat would not disappear from politics. His Facebook page, in fact, now advocates for a series of animal rights laws in Mexico.


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Our featured feline at the head of the page is Socks, pictured in 2003 surveying his 'estate' in the early morning sunshine. Affectionately known as Soxy, he blossomed from a thin and hungry stray into a substantial and handsome cat who loved life and company, and his gentle ways endeared him to many friends. He is now no longer with us, but you can read more from his human companion here.

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