In the charming town of Coromandel, nestled amid serene landscapes and warm-hearted locals, one furry resident has captured the affection of all who cross paths with him. Meet Helen Clark, the charismatic ginger cat who gracefully roams the town’s streets, receiving adoration from almost everyone he encounters.
Helen’s journey to becoming the beloved “Town Cat” started when he was a mere three-week-old rescue kitten from Australia. Initially thought to be a female and named after New Zealand’s former Prime Minister, Helen Clark, it was later discovered that he was, in fact, a male. No matter the mix-up, Helen’s endearing personality won the hearts of his foster family and eventually led him to his forever home in New Zealand.
From the moment he set his paws in Coromandel, Helen made himself known
to the community. You could find him strolling along the main street, making pitstops at various businesses, and even taking naps in the most unexpected places, like the Laundromat or the park. Tourists couldn’t resist the chance to pet and photograph this charismatic feline, showering him with love and occasional treats. However, one thing’s for sure – Helen is not a fan of dogs, and they know it too!
Over the years, Helen has cleverly crafted his daily routine, visiting the butcher for breakfast, spending the day with Jeni and Ross, and making his evening rounds. His portly figure is a testament to the multiple “progressive dinners” he enjoys during the day, hopping from one eatery to another.
Coromandel’s kind-hearted residents have embraced Helen as their very own Town Cat. Jeni, one of the generous souls, took care of his needs, only to discover that Helen’s actual owner lived just beyond her backyard fence. Nonetheless, Helen had other plans and preferred to remain an independent and free-spirited feline. As the years passed, others stepped in to support Helen’s chosen lifestyle. Mel and Sally from Weta now ensure he receives the love, grooming, and veterinary care he deserves during the day. At night, he finds comfort in sleeping with Dave from Pepper Tree.
Recently, Helen faced a health challenge when cancerous lumps were found on his neck. A community effort to raise funds for his medical treatment quickly gained momentum, reflecting the genuine love and concern the town holds for their beloved feline mayor. Thanks to the generosity of the community, the required funds were almost entirely covered, demonstrating the deep bond between Helen and his admirers.
Helen’s presence has brought joy and comfort to the lives of many in Coromandel. People have described him as a quiet, empathetic, and good-mannered companion who seems to possess a special ability to sense when someone is feeling unwell or down. His presence has been nothing short of therapeutic for those seeking solace.
Beyond his town duties, Helen has ventured into the world of fundraising with his personalized T-shirts. Featuring his charming portrait by artist Rebekah Pearson and the caption “Helen for Mayor,” these T-shirts aim to raise funds for a local museum’s dairy-moving project.
As he continues to roam the streets with his tail held high and his spirit unyielding, there’s no doubt that Helen Clark, Coromandel’s very own feline mayor, will always be cherished and celebrated by all who are fortunate enough to cross paths with him.
You can keep an eye on the local Facebook page dedicated to “Where’s Helen Clark?” to see his latest hangouts and antics. https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100070521565402