Download The Wellington App for more stories like this.

Famous cats of Wellington: Lola, the Aro Park Cat

Lola is a pussy cat from Aro Valley who survived a dog attack and has a beer named after her!

Lola has been giving cat cuddles to locals for many years, and has a Facebook page that dates back to 2012.

Lola has owners that live in the area, but the desire to live and love freely draws her back to her Aro Park multi-coloured bench again and again. The local community keeps an eye on her and vice versa, and she has provided a lot of comfort over the years to stressed out Uni students who indulge in pats and head rubs before trekking up the hill to class.

Lola was sadly mauled by a dog in 2017, but the community rallied around her and she recovered well – albeit now rocking tripod powers after losing one of her front legs in the attack.

Garage Project named a cherry red lager after the friendly girl, who’s a regular visitor to their Aro St brewery, and she has also been immortalised in murals in the area.

Lola will be turning twelve on November 9, so give her an extra pat if you see her!

The cult of Mittens: the cat that runs a city

The public of Wellington has spoken and their words are clear; they want their new ruler soft, round and yellow, like a fluffy scone.


Mittens at Max on Cuba Street

The Mittens worship began in Te Aro, Wellington, a couple of years ago. It started off small, as cults tend to – but as time went on, more and more city dwellers tuned in and turned on to the adventures of this fluffy feline.

Mittens made his presence known when he was continually dropped off at the SPCA from various locations around the city.

The exasperated SPCA team started a Facebook page (‘The Wondrous Adventures of Mittens’) to alert Wellington this was a GOD not a mere cat, and as such he had the right to roam freely and without constraint.

Mittens’ slave (Silvio Bruinsma) was unaware of the vastness of his cat’s empire until he checked out the Facebook page last year and was shocked to discover his delightfully confident cat has tens of thousands of followers. Bruinsma says there is really nothing he can do about his Turkish Angora roaming, but that he would rather give Mittens the freedom to live life on his own terms.

Mittens is not a fat cat but a solid, fluffy kind of cat – a man’s beer belly in cat form. Like a Cuba Street drunk, he has the tendency to invite himself into restaurants, shops, and other people’s flats, where he sleeps peacefully and seemingly unaware of his fan-hood.

His brother Latte is more of a homebody, but the pair can often be seen hanging out together, Latte is the fluffy white boi who is a tad more skittish than Mittens.

Worshippers from as far away as Hamilton now flock to the city for the chance to catch a glimpse of their be-furred deity and commentators from all over the world have stated they would choose a Mittens mission in Wellington over visiting Hobbiton if they were to visit New Zealand!

The only dissenting voice against Mittens we could find was Zelda, the official store cat from the ‘Costume Cave,’ in Te Aro, who we interviewed last year and was not happy about our boy treading on her turf like he owned the place.


Today we are taking a look at one of Wellington’s famous furry feline celebs – Monty of City Fitness Thorndon.


A distinguished gentleman (reddit)

Monty is a quiet and distinguished gentlemen who goes about his business of trying to sleep as much as possible. You could find him rain or shine outside City Fitness in Thorndon until a kind Wellingtonian made him his own little house early in 2019.

He’s a hit with the fit crew at the gym, and also those heading to work who need a quick feline pick-me-up in the morning. You’ll usually find him asleep in his house, or somewhere near ‘Monty’s Corner’ at the bottom of a well-trafficked set of steps which takes students to the buses on Thorndon Quay.


Although Monty is friendly and loves hugs and pats, catching some zzz is his number one priority. He sometimes looks so bedraggled that the SPCA has been called, but he does have a home and owners who care about him.  He is just an unfortunate sufferer of tangles like a lot of us long haired folk, and he has allergies to boot. Grooming is just not as important as taking a catnap and we completely get it!

Monty is on a special diet, and his owners have requested people to not feed him.

Although he looks like he is already about a hundred years old, we hope Monty will live forever.