Mayor Stubbs — a yellow tabby who’s served as mayor of the Alaskan town of Talkeetna for 16 years — was trotting around town late Saturday when he was mauled by an unknown local dog.
The politi-cat survived the brawl with an estimated 5-inch gash along his side, a punctured lung and a fractured sternum, CNN reports. Stubbs is reportedly now breathing on his own after relying on a chest tube since the attack over the Labor Day weekend. He has been receiving care at the Big Lake-Susitna Veterinary Hospital.
The honorable feline ascended to power just after his birth in 1997 when he was discovered among a box of kittens outside of Nagley’s General Store in the small town 110 miles north of Anchorage, Alaska. Manager Lauri Stec kept him named him Stubbs, alluding to his lack of tail. Around the same time, residents were disappointed with candidates for a local mayoral election and jokingly voted Stubbs into office as a write-in candidate.
Stec set up an unofficial mayor’s office for the kitten at the store. In the town — which has an estimated population of 800 — residents were quite happy with the cat’s rule, allowing him to serve for the last 16 years. As TIME reported in 2012, because the Talkeetna is technically a “historical district,” Stubbs’ position is without many responsibilities.
Stec said medical bills could surpass $2,000. An Indiegogo page was setup to crowdfund the expenses but has since been taken down.