Early this year, Atticus learned of a Maine Coon named Hank who is running for a seat in the U.S. Senate. Hank's campaign has been bolstered by both local and world-wide support and has raised thousands of dollars for animal causes, including spay and neuter programs, a big part of his campaign platform. This is Atticus' second interview with his East Coast Maine Coon counterpart.
Atticus MC Cat: Hi Hank! Thanks for talking with me again! It’s been a couple of months since we last spoke, and I can see from your website and Facebook page that you haven’t slowed down a bit! Almost 24,000 FB fans and more than $10,000 dollars raised! What’s hot right now on your campaign trail?
Hank: Thanks so much for speaking with me again Atticus, always a pleasure! I am simply humbled to know that my campaign, along with all my constituents, have raised so much for animal rescue groups – of course, this means I’m pushing even harder to keep the momentum going! Besides the achievement, we’re very excited to finally be offering yard signs to show your support for my campaign. They’re full color, double sided, and ship worldwide – and as always, all profits will be going to animal rescue – for the yard signs, we’re donating to the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria. In other news, I also had a wonderful photo shoot with National Geographic Kids Magazine for their November Issue, we’ll be having another eBay auction very soon, and we’re getting the groundwork set for a MAJOR event soon!
Atticus: I’ve noticed that other cats are really starting to get into the political swing. First, Cats for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow and just recently My Cat Xavier for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow who has recently endorsed your campaign. I’ve always thought cats were an under acknowledged political faction – and now look at us! What do you think of all these feline politicos?
Hank: I think it’s amazing! I’ve been in contact with my Russian followers as well, and the Felines there are progressing as well – A small kitten in the Ukraine has been inspired by my run, and is running for office as well, his name is Bublik. They also recently held the “opposition day” march in Moscow, which featured for the first time The #partyofcats, a new, feline political party! Cats everywhere are finally waking up to the realization that we can change the world for the better – humans have had a good run at it, but everyone I talk to agrees that cats are far better to have a crack at running the world.
Atticus: Okay, I admit that I haven’t been well-schooled in the arts, but I was kinda blown away by the painting depicting the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Is that really you?
Hank: Indeed, it is! A wonderful Russian artist, Svetlana Petrova, and her brilliant cat, Zarathustra (FatCatArt.ru) uncovered the original and shared it with our campaign. As a thank you to both of them, any funds we raise with that image, along with the Novelty $2 Bill (order at HankForSenate.com/Store.aspx) will be sent to Rzevka (http://icat.spb.ru/), an animal shelter in St. Petersburg, Russia, that focuses on vaccinating, fixing, and finding great homes for the homeless cats and dogs in the area.
Atticus: How 'bout a recent favorite story?
Hank: A few weeks ago I took a trip to the US Capitol building for a photo shoot, and it was lots of fun. At first, I’ll admit, I’m not a big fan of car rides, so I was a little nervous, but it was great to be out at the Capitol. It was my first trip there, and I’m really looking forward to going there every day to help make our country a better place. I’ve also really enjoyed meeting so many children who are drawn to my campaign because of my looks, and being able to help teach them that politics doesn’t have to be a dirty word or something they should distrust or fear – we all have the power to change things!
Atticus: Swinging off topic just a bit, I have to admire your fashion sense. Where do you get all those fabulous bow ties?
Hank: Well, I’ve been very fortunate – the original ties were purchased off Amazon (even though they’re listed as “Dog wedding ties”), and I had 3 of them to start. Once my campaign really took off, a number of my fans sent me a tie they found at a dollar store, or had that their kitty didn’t like! Of course, I’m always on the prowl for a nice new tie!
Atticus: Tell me a little bit about Hank’s Hitters – is this how you are blowing off steam in between campaign stops?
Hank: The Congressional Softball League is where a good number of government officials and contractors get together and form teams to play against each other in the evenings after work. We were approached by a team that didn’t really fit into a specific category – they didn’t all work for the same office, or for the same cause, and they really loved my campaign, and wanted to support it. So, they asked for some help with the team name and jerseys, and it’s definitely a great way to relax when my schedule allows for it. The team is doing great, the playoffs will start August 18th, and we’ll be planning a special event for that day. Just like me, they know winning isn’t everything, it’s just playing a good game and giving it your all, and accepting the results!
Atticus: We just got your bumpersticker and are proudly sporting it on the car – what other Hank schwag is coming down the pike?
Hank: We’ve actually added quite a bit! We now have a new bumper sticker, campaign buttons, and 8x10 signed photos available in our campaign store, plus t-shirts and mugs, and of course the Novelty $2 Bill and the new Yard Signs available in our Print Store. You can check out all of our merchandise at HankForSenate.com. We do have a few months to go before November, so I’m sure we’ll see some more goodies as well! And, as always, all of the profits go directly to various animal rescue groups!
Atticus: Anything else you would like to let us know before we sign off?
Hank: The best way to keep up on our latest news and events is to follow me on Twitter (@Hank4Senate) or on Facebook, and keep an eye out in the next few weeks once again for a *BIG* announcement!!
Atticus: Thanks, Hank! It’s always a pleasure and we’ll be sure to check back in a few weeks!
Hank: I really enjoy our conversations, Atticus! I look forward to updating you soon!
Today's Cat Fact: A Manx mix named Stubbs has been the mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska since 1997, having won a write-in campaign after locals became fed up with human prospects. Oh, and that's Mayor Stubbs to you.