Stubbs the cat, who was elected mayor of Alaskan town Talkeetna 15 years ago, was badly injured Saturday in a dog attack.
Stubbs, now 16, who was elected in a write-in campaign, is receiving veterinary care for a punctured lung, bruised hips, a deep five-inch gash on his side and a fractured sternum.
His chest tube was removed on Tuesday, allowing feline mayor to breathe on his own for the first time since the attack.
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"It's a shame," said Ashley Kearns, who works at a local pizza shop. "He's the mayor, it's not a joke. I know it's ridiculous, but the town is run really well."
Stubbs also released his own statement via his Facebook page.
"Thank you everyone for your well wishes during my recovery. While at this point in time it is impossible to know whether my attack was politically motivated, I do hope that the government will seriously consider providing me with some Secret Service protection in the future to assist in preserving my remaining 8 lives," the cat said. "I am thankful for the opportunity to continue leading the great town of Talkeetna onwards to brighter tomorrows."
Stubbs was attacked during his nightly walk around town when an unleashed dog ran across the street and bit him.
"He had a big gash on his side about four or five inches long and once we got him to the vet we found out the gash went down to his organs," said the cat's owner, Lauri Stec. "Right now is a crucial time cause he's heavily sedated on pain meds. He's in a lot of pain."
Stec said the dog has still not been picked up by animal control, but she plans to file a report.
"As far as I'm concerned he needs to go away," she said about the dog.
Stubbs' medical bills are expected to top $2,000.
The cat became the head of Talkeetna, about 110 miles north of Anchorage, 15 years ago when the 800 people who live in the town were unhappy with all the human candidates running for mayor. Stec, who manages the town's general store, had recently taken in the kitten after he was found with others in a box. He was given the name Stubbs because he didn't have a tail.
After winning the election as a write-in candidate, Stubbs set up his mayoral office in the general store.
Because Talkeetna is considered a "historical district," its mayor is more symbolic than practical.