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    24-Aug-2020

Celebrity Cat Runs to Be New Zealander of the Year

 

Asharq Al-Awsat

 

New Zealand's PM Jacinda Ardern is facing a serious competition from a celebrity cat known as Mittens for this year's New Zealander of the year award.
 
 
Some see that Mittens, who roams tattoo parlors, office towers and churches, posing for social media snapshots along the way, deserves to win.
 
 
Earlier this year Mittens, of Wellington, was given the key to the city, and his adventurous spirit has won him tens of thousands of local and international fans.
 
 
Mittens first won attention in 2018 after repeatedly wandering inner-city dwellings, including the university, the post office, and a Catholic church.
 
 
Mittens was also reportedly taken to the police station by concerned locals. After repeated encounters with Mittens, Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals-SPCA employees started a Facebook page to reassure locals that the cat wasn't lost and didn't need to be "rescued" – he was just adventurous.
 
 
The Facebook page now has 50,000 followers with locals tracking Mittens' daily activities around town.
 
 
Also making the cut are the prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, her figurative "team of five million" for their adherence to lockdown rules, and the director-general of health, Dr. Ashley Bloomfield.
 
 
Previous winners include the actor and director Taika Waititi, comedian and mental health advocate Mike King, and former national rugby team captain Richie McCaw. A feline has never won.
 
 

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