Jul 21, 2023 - Politics

Airtags for Afton: Gov. Walz turns to tech to track family cat after move to Eastcliff

a yellow cat yawning or hissing

It's up for debate whether Diet Mountain Dew fuels Afton Walz's adventures. Photo courtesy of Gov. Tim Walz's office

Minnesota's first cat is on the move, in more ways than one.

Driving the news: Earlier this week, the Walz family relocated to a University of Minnesota-owned mansion along the Mississippi River so the official governor's residence can undergo extensive renovations.

The issue: Afton, the family's 7-year-old tabby, is known for venturing beyond his home — he's a frequent surprise guest at weddings held at a venue near the governor's typical Summit Avenue residence.

  • So Gov. Tim Walz decided to pop an Apple AirTag on the frisky feline in case he wandered away.

What happened: The tracking tactic came in handy, though it sent the state's chief executive on an early morning adventure of his own.

  • "I woke up this morning at four and he was at my neighbor's house," Walz told a group of elementary school students in Savage on Wednesday. "So I'm like, sneaking around because I'm worried he might fight with their cat."

What's next: Afton, along with the family's dog Scout, will have some time to adjust to his new environment.

  • The state leased Eastcliff from the U for over a year given the scope and timeline of the gubernatorial mansion makeover.
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