Wellington's beloved celebrity cat Mittens has been awarded the city's highest honour, although rather ironically the curious feline has never needed a key to open any doors in the capital.
At a small ceremony this afternoon Mayor Andy Foster, wearing the mayoral chains for the auspicious occasion, presented Mittens with the Key to the City.
It's the first time Foster has met the cat in person.
"He is a very very handsome cat, loves exploring, I can see why he goes wandering because he's quite keen to check out every part of the office."
Mittens, once referred to as "King Floof of Cuba", is famous for wandering around the central city and making himself at home wherever he pleases.
These antics have today been recognised for bringing happiness, laughter and coolness to the capital.
Mittens joins the ranks of previous recipients including triple-centurion cricketer Brendon McCullum, Sir Peter Jackson and Sir Richard Taylor.
The 10-year-old cat has been known to frequent Wellington's night life having once wandered into a strip club and on another occasion sat on the counter of a Cuba St bar until 2am watching people have drinks.
Once he also sat on the lap of one customer receiving a haircut at a salon in town.
Last year Mittens' frolics caught up with him, when he was detained by police after being seen nonchalantly crossing the road by the city's library.
He was asked to accompany police for questioning and had his details checked, but was released without charge and let go with a warning to be safe when crossing the roads.
Today's award was originally planned for March but was delayed due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
But owner Silvio Bruinsma thought now was the ideal time for a good warm-hearted story.
"It's a great community story at a time when Wellington needs it most, and reflects the positivity he has brought to the people he encounters on his adventures. Mittens has captured the heart of the city and kept smiles on the faces of many of his fans during lockdown – both here and abroad."
Bruinsma said Mittens snuck out a few times during lockdown but returned home each time after only an hour or so feeling glum that no one was around.
Mittens today received a certificate, with a border made from paw prints, and was given a miniature key for his collar by Foster.
The feline sat wrapped in Bruinsma's arms with a paw resting under his chin as Foster read aloud the details of the award.
Afterwards Mittens requested a glass of water to celebrate.
A council staffer returned saying: "We couldn't find a glass, but will a bowl do?"
Almost 50,000 people keep up with Mittens' adventures on his Facebook page.