Mexico's President Says Sí to Caring for National Palace's Feral Cats

Mary Simpson
by Mary Simpson

Living Fixed Asset designation provides felines with care and shelter for life.

Photo Credit: Iren Rey /

You may be familiar with the term Fixed Assets. It’s just lawyer-speak for items like equipment, appliances, etc. - the stuff that’s “fixed” and included with the sale of a property. They’re words most often used with the disbursement of an estate or sale of a property.

So, when Mexico’s sitting president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador added the word “Living” to this term, it raised both eyebrows and the question as to what could possibly constitute a living fixed asset. Well, in this instance, it refers to the 19 feral cats that have called Mexico’s National Palace home for what is rumored to be close to five decades.

You see, when he took office in 2018, the colony of felines was roaming the grounds and being fed on the sly by palace staff. As the numbers grew and cats began roaming the halls, a decision was made to embrace yet control the numbers. So, veterinarians were brought in to vaccinate, chip, and sterilize the cats, with feeding stations and shelters erected throughout the palace gardens.

No surprise that López Obrador has conceded that the felines “dominate” the prestigious presidential palace – often cutting in front of him to lead processions during official ceremonies. “Preaching to the choir”, says everyone who shares space with a cat and knows their love of taking the pole position at every opportunity.

According to the palace veterinarian (they have one dedicated to the felines!) “They have access to every part of the palace, so they walk in on meetings, interviews and wander onto camera.” What? Cats that don’t respect personal space? You must be joking.

While the feisty felines are seriously unimpressed by the lofty Living Fixed Asset title, it carries some impressive clout. It secures their home and health for the rest of their lives. You see, this designation means the government has decided the country’s Treasury will now be obligated to provide the cat colony with food, care, and shelter in perpetuity – meaning forever. So, even after the current leader leaves office (and the palace) later this year, the food, shelter, water and cuddles from staff will continue.

“We have to make sure the cats are taken care of.” says the General Director for the National Palace and Cultural Heritage Conservancy, Adriana Castillo Román. “The cats are now a symbol of the National Palace. Just as we understand this world, I wouldn’t understand the National Palace without the presence of these cats.

So just like the streets of Istanbul, Hemingway House in Key West, the San Francisco airport… and quite literally any warm weather resort one has ever been to, the feline population at the National Palace is not only permitted but welcomed as an integral part of the site's culture.

Mary Simpson
Mary Simpson

Sharing space with three seriously judgy Schnoodles and a feline who prefers to be left alone. #LivingMyBestLife

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