Minneapolis Cats Turn City Hall into Kitty Hall

Thousands of cat lovers descended on City Hall on Tuesday for the chance to cuddle with kittens and vote for four-legged candidates in a mock election for an event raising awareness for Minneapolis Animal Care and Control. The line wrapped through the rotunda and out the door, but no one seemed too upset about the wait.

People line up at City Hall

The line for cat cuddles.

Minneapolis isn’t the first city to have a Kitty Hall event—Seattle has being doing it since 2015. But when Ana Marie Cox, MTV political correspondent and dedicated sharer of cat photos on Twitter, suggested to Minneapolis mayor Betsy Hodges that she do something similar, Hodges was all over it. From 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., people were let into the official kitten petting tent a few at a time to take their turn. (The kittens rotated through on 20-minute shifts to keep the crowds from being too much.) All of the cats were adoptable, including the candidates, and over 20 of them found new homes by the end of the event.

Petting cats

Inside the kitten tent.

As for the election . . .

Cat candidates

Meet the candidates.

And yes, there were “I Voted” stickers for the 2,908 people who cast their votes.

Two individuals with I Voted stickers

Cat election voters.

Mayor Hodges stopped by at noon to address the crowd and announce the winners, and the afternoon was obviously a welcome break from some of the more serious things going on in the world. “I am required to do puns, because it is Kitty Hall,” she said. “And so for all the folks who made today possible and all the folks who are coming through, this is purr-fect, it’s a-meow-zing, and it’s in a cat-egory of its own. You’re welcome.” (Cue the laughs and groans.)

She also gave a special shoutout to her own cats, Nakatomi and Argyle—yes, Die Hard fans, she’s one of you—which she adopted, one directly and one indirectly, from Minneapolis Animal Care and Control.

Mayor Betsy Hodges at the podium

Mayor Hodges was very happy to be here.

After reading out the proclamation officially declaring June 27, 2017, as Kitty Hall Day, Hodges was all too happy to announce the winners of the election. (In case you’re wondering, Alice and Hans won their respective offices, each by a landslide. Hans was shy and had to be brought to the podium swaddled like a burrito. Did I mention that almost 3,000 people voted?)

Alice the cat with her winning ribbon

Alice, the newly elected Kitty Council president.

Minneapolis Animal Care and Control takes in 1,100 stray cats every year, most of which need adopting. For information, visit minneapolismn.gov/animals.

Betsy Hodges with Hans the cat

Hans the cat.

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