There is no doubt that people love cats. All you have to do is see the reactions to some new cat video, and the love is unmistakable. It seems as if they have also crossed over to some annual awards, including the annual New Zealander of the year award.
According to the patron of the awards, Miriama Kamo: “In this extraordinary year, we know that everyone has a hero.”
There are many people who are in the running for this year’s prize, including Prime Minister Jacinda Arden and the country’s Director-General of Health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield. They may be getting some of the attention, but a cat named Mittens seems to be the one most people are thinking of.
Mittens is a 10-year-old Turkish Angora that is already a local celebrity. People have been taking pictures of the feline as it was wandering around the streets of Wellington.
He even has an official Facebook page, with 58,000+ followers where many people upload the pictures that they’ve taken.
This would be the first time that a feline has won the New Zealander of the Year Award. Mittens already won the key to the city in Wellington this year because officials wanted to give it some recognition.
Mayor Andy Foster even went out in May in his full regalia to pin the little key to mittens collar.
“The past few months have been some of the most difficult we’ve encountered, so we’re pleased to be able to provide some light relief during this challenging time,” Mayor Foster said.
According to the Wellington City Council, “Mittens has featured in the Wellington Advent Calendar, made the news overseas, and is the focus of thousands of selfies on his own Facebook page.”
Many people have tried to rescue Mittens by handing him over to the authorities, but the SPCA is letting everyone know that Mittens should be left alone.
It seems as if Mittens can be found everywhere, including offices, churches, and tattoo parlors.
Silvio Bruinsma is mitten’s human, who says it’s wonderful to see so many people loving a cat:
“It’s a great community story at a time when Wellington needs it most, and reflects the positivity he has brought to the people he encounters on his adventures.
Mittens has captured the heart of the city and kept smiles on the faces of many of his fans during lockdown – both here and abroad.”
Although mittens may be in the running for New Zealander of the Year, the competition is tough. We will have to wait until the semi-finalists are announced in December, but the winter won’t be revealed until March 2021.
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