in 2017, a citizen of Wellington, New Zealand, slowly became an international celebrity. His popularity with the humans in Wellington skyrocketed over just a few years.
The next year, he was featured in the Wellington Advent Calendar. Then in 2020, he was awarded the key to the city, a hit song was released about him, a book was written about him, and he was nominated for “New Zealander of the Year”. And this list would be impressive for any human – But this was achieved by a Turkish Angora cat named Mittens (Full name Mittens, His Royal Floofiness).
And how did Mittens become so adored by his city? Did he start a business that employs hundreds of locals? Did he discover some medical break through? Did he save a school bus full of children from crashing? Nope, he’s just full of charm and positive energy, which he spreads around the city on one of his many fun friend-making adventures.
So MIttens ain’t no average house cat. He’s a true city cat. He treats Wellington as his personal playground, wandering into shops, offices, and even hopping on buses, as if he owns the place. (Well, he does have keys to the place, so he kinda does.) His adventures, often documented by amused Wellingtonians, have turned him into a social media celeb. Sightings of the famous feline led to all his encounters being mapped. His Facebook group, The Wondrous Adventures of Mittens, has almost 70,000 members and counting.
The people of Wellington started to recognize that this charismatic cat embodies the city’s friendly, inclusive vibe. Whether he’s lounging in a café or strolling through the halls of a university, Mittens is met with nothing but love and admiration. This made him a furry ambassador before he was officially recognized with the keys to the city in August 2020.
Local celebrity cat Mittens has been awarded the highest honour of the capital with Mayor Andy Foster giving him the Key to the City at a small (Covid-safe) ceremony today. Read the full story here https://t.co/3UM5IKglme pic.twitter.com/5oJheTOEyf— Wellington City Council (@WgtnCC) May 22, 2020
That same year, the Wellington Museum held an exhibition in Mittens’ honor, showcasing his adventures and the impact he’s had on the city. Not every day, a cat gets his own exhibit, but then again, Mittens isn’t your everyday cat. They also hosted the release of the children’s book dedicated to him, The Adventures of Mittens.
Mittens has brought so much joy to Wellingtonians over the years. The adventures of this Turkish Angora cat have inspired an exhibition, a book and even a hit song. pic.twitter.com/lNKzn4vAwz— Wellington City Council (@WgtnCC) November 10, 2021
Then a hit song, simply titled “Mittens,” dropped in December 2020.
Mittens, now 13 years old in 2023, has since retired from the limelight. He relocated back to his original home city of Auckland with his humans to live a more relaxed life now that his big adventuring days are over.
For another celebrated city cat, meet Gacek – Poland’s most famous fat cat, who survived a kidnapping attempt and health issues.