2 plus 2 still equals 4

Listen&Learn: Alaska’s Cat Mayor

Jaksyn Peacock
Learn about the cat that was voted into office.
cat mayor

Pre-listening vocabulary

  • election: a process where people vote for political candidates
  • resident: someone who lives in a certain place
  • mayor: the person who runs a city or town
  • destination: a place that people go to
  • tradition: an action that people continue to repeat
  • kitten: a baby cat

Listening activity

Gapfill exercise

In 1998, the small town of Talkeetna, Alaska held a mayoral election. But the residents quickly became when no one stepped up for the job. Instead of electing a candidate, the town voted a cat into office. The cat’s name was Stubbs, and he served as mayor for 19 years. His office was a general store in the centre of the town. During Stubbs’s term, Talkeetna became a tourist destination in Alaska. Visitors would come to take or have meetings with the mayor. After Stubbs’s death in 2017, the residents of Talkeetna continued the tradition and elected a kitten named Denali to fill the role.

Comprehension questions

1. When no good human candidates stepped up, the residents of Talkeetna

Correct! Wrong!

When no good human candidates stepped up, the residents of Talkeetna voted a cat into office.

2. Stubbs's office was

Correct! Wrong!

Stubbs's office was a general store.

3. After Stubbs died, the town elected

Correct! Wrong!

After Stubbs died, the town elected a kitten.

Discussion/essay questions

  1. Do you participate in local elections in your town?

Transcript

In 1998, the small town of Talkeetna, Alaska held a mayoral election. But the residents quickly became frustrated when no one stepped up for the job. Instead of electing a human candidate, the town voted a cat into office. The cat’s name was Stubbs, and he served as mayor for 19 years. His office was a general store in the centre of the town. During Stubbs’s term, Talkeetna became a popular tourist destination in Alaska. Visitors would come to take photos or have meetings with the mayor. After Stubbs’s death in 2017, the residents of Talkeetna continued the tradition and elected a kitten named Denali to fill the role. 

Written and recorded by Jaksyn Peacock for EnglishClub

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