Meet Mittens, the cat running for New Zealander of the Year

New Zealanders aren’t kitten around when it comes to Mittens the Cat.

The famous feline is in the running to be voted New Zealander of the Year going up against the country’s beloved Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, and its Director-General of Health, Dr. Ashley Bloomfield, both of whom have led the fight against COVID-19.

The Wellington-based purr-sonality has more than 52,000 Facebook fans, a mini-exhibition in the city’s museum called “Floofy and Famous” and has been given a key to the city — an honor previously granted to “The Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson.

Mittens was given the honor according to a press release obtained by CNN “in recognition of bringing happiness, laughter and coolness to the capital — and putting the city on the map internationally with his feline antics.”

Other nominees for New Zealander of the Year are Arden, Bloomfield, microbiologist Siouxsie Wiles, lawmaker Chloe Swarbrick, and journalist Patrick Gower.

“In this extraordinary year, we know that everyone has a hero,” Miriama Kamo, patron of Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Awards, told CNN.

“You’ve seen them in action, you’ve heard them, you may live with them — these incredible New Zealanders deserve recognition for stepping up, this year and every year.”

While there is a paws-ibility of Mitten winning, odds are on Bloomfield to win the award which will be announced on March 18, 2021.

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