In America, citizens who view government as gridlock and partisan politics as poison have put cats and other animals on the ballot for public office. In 2012, for instance, a cat named Hank in Virginia received more than 6,000 write-in votes to serve in the U.S. Senate.
But frustration with government and politicians turning a deaf ear to constituents’ concerns aren’t limited to the U.S., as a 10-month-old cat named Morris of Xalapa, a city in eastern Mexico with a population of 450,000, has become something of an Internet sensation. The feline’s Facebook Page promoting him as a mayoral candidate has more than 130,000 Likes.
“Morris has been a catalyst to show the discontent that exists in our society,” Morris’s owner, Sergio Chamorro, told The Evening Sun. “Our message from the beginning has been, ‘if none of the candidates represent you, vote for the cat,’ and it seems people are responding to that.
“[Morris] sleeps almost all day and does nothing, and that fits the profile of a politician.”
As if that weren’t biting enough, Morris’s initial campaign slogan was, “Tired of voting for rats? Vote for a cat.”
Chamorro and his friends started Morris’s campaign in response to Xalapa’s bleak state of affairs. According to World War 4 Report, 9 journalists have been killed in Xalapa in the last 3 years, and the larger coastal state of Veracruz is besieged by drug trafficking and related crime.
The black-and-white cat isn’t the only animal seeking public office in Mexico. A dog named Tintan in Oaxaca City; Maya, a cat in Puebla; a chicken named Tina in Tepic; and a donkey named Chon of Ciudad Juarez are all candidates for public office.
Although Morris’s name will not appear on the ballot, citizens are encouraged to vote for the feline via write-in. According to The Guardian, this has prompted election organizers to issue a caveat not to waste their votes: “It is important to vote for the registered candidates. Please.”
The election is set to take place on July 7.