The Sideshow

Morris the cat running for mayor of Mexican city

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Morris poses for a campaign photo. (Facebook)

There’s another fat cat running for political office. But this one is actually covered in fur, has claws and purrs when he gets his way.

All hail “hissoner.”

Morris the Cat declared his candidacy for mayor of Xalapa, a university city with a population of 450,000 in eastern Mexico. Xalapa, the capital of the state of Veracruz, has suffered through high crime rates and corruption in recent years.

Which helps explain the 10-month-old kitten's campaign slogan: "Tired of Voting for Rats? Vote for a Cat."

"He sleeps almost all day and does nothing, and that fits the profile of a politician," said Morris’ human owner, Sergio Chamorro, in an interview with The Associated Press.

Morris is also not the only cat to seek elected office.

For example, Stubbs the Cat has famously been the mayor of a small Alaskan town for more than 15 years. And in 2012, a cat named Tuxedo Stan ran for mayor of Halifax in Nova Scotia, Canada (he didn't win).

Chamorro says Morris is running for office to protest corruption in Mexico’s political system. He promises to donate any funds raised through the campaign to local animal shelters.

People have been responsive, giving Morris' Facebook page more than 120,000 likes since it was launched. He’s even getting some love from Stubbs, who has been posting news about the campaign to his own popular Facebook page.

As the AP points out, the leading human candidate in the race has a comparably meager 33,000 likes on his Facebook page.

"Morris has been a catalyst to show the discontent that exists in our society," Chamorro said. "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."

Xalapa is home to its own rich political history. It's the birthplace of Antonio López de Santa Anna, an 11-term former president of Mexico sometimes referred to as the "Napoleon of the West."

As it turns out, animals running for office in this year’s elections is quite popular in Mexico. Along with Morris, other nonhuman mayoral candidates include Chon the Donkey, Tina the Chicken, Tintan the Dog and Maya the Cat.

In response, election officials are asking voters to resist the temptation to cast their votes for noneligible animal candidacies.

"We are asking for people to participate by voting for those citizens registered on the ballots," electoral institute President Carolina Viveros said in an interview with local media. "Everything else is part of expressions happening in social media and I respect that, but you have to vote for the registered candidates."

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