Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle crusades for animals.

A few months after her elderly cat, Snooze, passed away, a “devastated” Gov. Linda Lingle ventured to the Cat House of the Hawaiian Humane Society, a leafy three-acre complex near the University of Hawaii at Manoa. There, the cat-who-would-become Stripes wandered into the governor’s life.

“Would you like to see photographs of my cats?” the governor asks during an interview at her spacious offices in the state capitol building downtown. She jumps up to retrieve two frames from her desk.

“This is Nani Girl,” she says, introducing a reclining white-haired beauty. And there’s Stripes. Dangling from a scratching post, the almost 3-year-old challenges with a bring-it-on stance.

“This one is such a rascal,” Lingle says. “She’s part Abyssinian and playful as a little kitten. Nani Girl is docile. If they were both in the office, Stripes would knock down everything off the tables and shelves.

Elected in 2006 to a second term, the Republican governor during her tenure has introduced and/or supported landmark animal welfare legislation for the islands.

**Get the October 2007 issue of CAT FANCY to read the full article.**

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