News | 11 November 2021

Friday Five: You've got to be kitten me

His Royal Floofiness Mittens the cat is moving to Auckland with his whānau, so we’re looking back at his wonderful time spent in Pōneke.

Mayor Andy Foster reading the Key to the City certificate to Mittens the cat who is being held up by his owner Silvio.

Mittens is a large Turkish angora cat who gained celebrity status here in Wellington for being incredibly adventurous - walking into offices, jumping into cars, and even gate-crashing gigs.  

Having a Mittens encounter has became a popular Wellington pastime and brought endless joy to locals and visitors alike. He has inspired works of art, music, literature and grand political gestures. Let's revisit some of Mittens' greatest moments here in Pōneke. 

1. Being awarded the Key to the City

In May 2020, Mittens was awarded the highest honour of the capital when Mayor Andy Foster bestowed upon him the Key to the City. He received a certificate outlining the honours and was given a miniature key for his collar. 

The award recognised of all the happiness, laughter and coolness he had added to the city, and was the perfect way to cheer people up after the recent lockdown. 

You can read more about the award on our website.

Mittens on the glass cabinet at the Floofy and Famous exhibition at Wellington Museum.

2. Floofy and Famous exhibition 

Wellington Museum were so inspired by Mittens' antics that they created a mini-exhibition in honour of his life. 

Mittens - Floofy and Famous opened in August of 2020 and showcased work from local artists, photography and videos all about his Royal Floofiness. 

Visitors were encouraged to donate a tin of pet food for the SPCA, to help feed other furry friends around the city. 

A design of Mittens the cat's head overlayed on a map of Wellington with words that read

3. Mittens goes musical 

In December of 2020, Angel Star Publishing House released "Mittens - Official Song", a catchy tune written by 2020 Children’s Tui Award Finalist Chris Sanders and Natalie Conaty. 

The song went straight to the top, beating the likes of Six60 and Taylor Swift to reach number one on the New Zealand iTunes charts. 

A portion of proceeds from the song downloads go towards the The Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand. You can hear the song and download it for yourself from the Angel Star Publishing House website.

Mittens the cat sitting next to the book inspired by his life.

4. The Adventures of Mittens book 

It was only a matter of time before Mittens was imortalised in print!

Earlier this year, Mittens' owner Silvio Bruinsma teamed up with local artist Phoebe Morris to create a childrens picture book documenting all of his adventures around town. 

You can pick up your own copy from your local bookstore or an online retailer. 

Image of Mittens with certificate and key to the city

5. New Zealander of the Year nominee

To top it all off, Mittens was nominated for the New Zealander of the Year Award in 2021. 

He was up against the likes of Prime Minister Jacinda Adern, Director-General of Health Dr. Ashley Bloomfield, and microbiologist Dr. Siouxsie Wiles. 

While he didn't take out the title, he is still a winner in the hearts of many Wellingtonians. 

Bonus Mittens fun! 

Head to our Colour In Welly webpage, print out our Mittens colouring-in template and give him a colourful new coat. 

Want to keep up with Mittens after his move? You can join the Wonderous Adventures of Mittens group on Facebook