This Happened: A Dead Cat Was Asked To Register To Vote In CA

Piwacket the cat (Pi, for short) sadly passed away last year, but he has not been forgotten. Not by his owner, Phyllis Metcalfe, and not by the Voter Participation Center. The nonprofit, which focuses on registering voters from underrepresented communities, sent Pi a letter encouraging him to register to vote. Since deceased housecats are sure a very underrepresented group in the American voting pool, technically the Voter Participation Center was staying true to their mission by reaching out.


Credit: Phyllis Metcalfe

"Pi, like most Siamese cats, was bright and opinionated," Pi's owner wrote in an email to the OC Register. "However, considering (that) this year's presidential candidates disprove Darwin's Theory of Evolution, I doubt Pi would have been interested in voting even if he was alive."

Pi wasn't the only potential voter to mistakenly receive a letter from the Voter Participation Center. According to the OC Register, the nonprofit accidentally included many already-registered Californians in the 4.7 million such letters it sent out, leading to a lot of confusion even among human recipients.


As for how Pi ended up on the mailing list, Metcalfe's best guess is that her vet or Petco sold their mailing lists to commercial brokers and that those brokers confused Pi's name with hers. And there's evidence to back that theory up, considering this was not a one-time fluke.

"Pi received an invitation to open an equity line of credit with Washington Mutual Bank, which may be why it is no longer in business," Metcalfe wrote to the OC Register. "After several follow-up requests, I finally called the manager of the local branch to let him know that Pi may think he owned our home, but I made the financial decisions."