'My Rescue Cat Became the Mayor of Hell' (2024)

I've always been an animal person, I grew up in California with cats and dogs and I have two cats now. I even worked at a doggy daycare for a while but it was a bit overwhelming. I'm 5' 2" and I'd walk in and have 30 dogs jump on me.

Jinx the cat came into my life more than three years ago, on October 18, 2018. It's a really weird story because I wasn't supposed to be at home that day, at that time. It was a few days before my 16th birthday and I went to a friend's football game but I wasn't having fun so my mom came and picked me up. We came home and as soon as I got inside, I heard a really loud meowing.

There's a big field behind our house so we went down to the backyard and shone a flashlight into the field. It was really dark out, raining and freezing cold and snakes are often in the field too, but a little way out into the field we suddenly saw a tiny little black smudge: it was Jinx. She was three or four weeks old and had been abandoned. I assume she was wild, because there are a lot of stray cats in our neighborhood.

'My Rescue Cat Became the Mayor of Hell' (1)

We named her Jinx because there were all these weird events that led up to us finding her; it was strange for me to be home at that time, it was mid-October near Halloween, it was two days before my birthday and she's a black cat.

We took her to the vet, but they just said she's "special" and has some birth defects. Jinx has an underbite because her jaw is very small and she has big eyes and very big feet, but she's completely healthy. She's not as advanced as other cats, but not to the point that it's noticeable. She's just a little quirky. And she's such a sweetheart. I think she gets separation anxiety with me. Anywhere I am, she'll be there too. When I was in school I'd be gone all day and when I'd come back she'd go crazy because she was so excited. She is a little clumsy as well; she's not very coordinated. I'll play with her with a stick and she'll just fall onto her side.

Jinx is just a very curious and strange cat. She's very specific in what she plays with and what she likes. I can't pick her up all the time or put clothes on her really, and I very much try to respect her boundaries.

When I first found her I was taking a lot of pictures of her, so a friend suggested I make an Instagram account for her; a cool diary of when I found this kitten to when she's an adult cat. TikTok came a little later. I got my own account and I noticed that every time I posted about Jinx it would do exceptionally well. Then, when I posted about me, I'd get maybe 100 views. It was funny. So eventually it became Jinx's account. People really like her. On Instagram she has 417,000 followers, on TikTok she has 743,000 followers and on Twitter she has 258,000 followers. It's insane.

'My Rescue Cat Became the Mayor of Hell' (2)

On April 9, I saw something online about how you can buy a square foot of land in Scotland and become a lady. I paid for two square feet of land so Jinx could be a lady of Scotland. One day shortly after that, I tweeted about whether she could also become a mayor and someone tweeted me saying that there's a town called Hell in Michigan where you can pay to be mayor and that I should consider it. I wondered if they would let me make my cat the mayor, so I emailed the town and they said yes.

It cost $100 for Jinx to be mayor for one day, which I decided would be worth it. We agreed a date and then we got a set of devil horns to wear, a t-shirt, a coffee mug, a badge, wallet card, ownership of one square inch of land in Hell, a bottle of official Hell dirt, a proclamation certificate of being mayor and one of impeachment and calls from the town throughout the day.

'My Rescue Cat Became the Mayor of Hell' (3)

The first call woke me up around 9am on April 24. It was people from Hell welcoming Jinx and asking for her proclamations as mayor. Jinx just sat there silently, so I was translating for them; telling them what I assumed she'd be saying. Jinx's proclamations included that April 24 becomes "National Jinx Day", that there be one Jinx mural per mile of the town, that a statue is erected in her honor and that all eggs are banned. One TikTik post of mine that went viral was me giving Jinx an egg. I'd seen other people doing that with their animals. She hissed at the egg and did not like it.

We were called from Hell three times throughout the day with mayoral issues to deal with. One issue was that all the catfish in the water had gone missing and they asked what Jinx was going to do about it. I told them that Jinx said to steal them from the next town over. That decision then led to her impeachment later in the day.

Later on April 24 I had a live stream called "Jinx's Mayoral Celebration" where people were asking what Jinx's future plans in politics are. Her fans were saying she's going to be the President of the United States next. I've also heard that eight other animals have now applied to be mayor of Hell since Jinx.

I am now on the lookout for my next idea. Jinx has been a mayor and she's a lady so I want to find her next title; maybe I can get Queen Elizabeth II to make her a Dame!

Times are really scary and intense; there's so much happening and everyone always seems so stressed out. So I think that having a funny cat become mayor is so heartwarming to see. People love Jinx. I've had so many comments from people saying they're really depressed and that Jinx is the first thing that's made them laugh in a while. As someone who has struggled with my own mental health, it's great to see people positively influenced by my cat. It's so simple, but it affects people.

Read more

  • 'I'm Cloning My Cat After Failing to Clone My Dog'
  • 'I've Rescued 115 Baby Kittens'
  • 'I Manage a Group Of Performing Cats'

Jinx can tell when I'm sad. She'll come and lay on me. It's like always having a little best friend with you. She brightens my day every day. There are times when I just sit and watch her waltzing around my room being weird and it makes me laugh. A lot of people really don't acknowledge that pets can be a best friend.

I can't imagine the world without Jinx in it. My life would be completely different if I didn't have her. I don't think I'll ever meet a cat as special as Jinx.

Mia Ibanez lives in California with Jinx the cat. You can follow Jinx on Instagram @bigfootjinx and on TikTok @bigfootjinx.

All views expressed in this article are the author's own.

As told to Jenny Haward.

Uncommon Knowledge

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

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'My Rescue Cat Became the Mayor of Hell' (2024)


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