Ellen backs crusading cat for Halifax mayor
Published Wednesday, October 17, 2012 8:29AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, October 17, 2012 12:23PM EDT
Tuxedo Stan, the crusading cat that's clawed its way into the Halifax mayoral race, has racked up another high-profile endorsement.
The political kitty's latest celebrity backer is daytime TV talk show host Ellen Degeneres, who broached the unusual campaign on her program Tuesday.
Degeneres was in the midst of her show-opening standup routine when she joked that the Internet is a great place to easily answer outlandish questions like: "Has a cat ever run for mayor?"
"Now you can instantly find out, and the answer is 'Yes'," she quipped. "His name is Tuxedo Stan and he's currently running for Mayor of Halifax."
The audience elicited a collective "Awww" when a picture of the black-and-white cat was flashed on screen and Degeneres continued, "I don't like to get political, but I would vote for that cat."
Just three weeks ago, CNN host Anderson Cooper gave Stan his backing too, in a tongue-in-cheek segment of his nighttime show "360."
"We usually don't take sides politically, but I think we'll make an exception, go ahead and give our unofficial endorsement to one candidate for mayor of Halifax. His name is Tuxedo Stan," Cooper said on his Sept. 24 broadcast, explaining that the feline is campaigning on behalf of the city's feral cat population.
Dancing around a joke about a cat-astrophe in the Nova Scotia capital, Cooper insisted: "This is a serious story about a serious mayoral race in Halifax."
Three-year-old Tuxedo Stan can't actually run for the city's top job, as that's officially reserved for candidates with birth certificates.
But that isn't slowing Stan and his owner/campaign manager, retired veterinarian Dr. Hugh Chisholm, in the campaign ultimately aimed at raising awareness about the city's problem with stray cats.
Unlike dogs, there is no law in the city requiring cats be spayed and neutered. The result has been a growing population, now estimated in the thousands, of strays breeding and living on the streets, hungry and sick.
To date, Stan's "Tuxedo Party" Facebook page has received more than 8,700 "likes."
And, more significantly, his campaign claims the support of five human mayoral candidates, all of whom have signed "Tuxedo Stan's Pledge of Compassion and Action."
Candidates signing the pledge agree that, if elected, they would support a humane feline population control program in the city that includes an affordable and accessible spay/neuter program.