(FAMOUS PETS/CATS) The world lost another amazing, inspirational animal last week. Hank, the brave Maine Coon who ran for U.S. Senate, died of complications from cancer Thursday at 12 years old.

The political feline was a trailblazer, and although he did not win many votes during his Independent run for Senate, he brought a lot of necessary attention to animal welfare issues, with “Vote The Humans Out” being the foundation of his political platform.

Hank, you will be missed dearly. Read on for a wonderful tribute to the amazing, well-deserving Hank the cat. — Global Animal

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Hank, the adorable Maine Coon who ran for US Senate in the state of Virginia. Photo Credit: abcnews.go.com

The Huffington Post, Arin Greenwood

At one point, fans hoped that a handsome Maine coon cat named Hank might one day run for president, an office historically occupied by humans.

It will be a little longer before we get our first feline commander in chief. Matthew O’Leary, Hank’s owner — and manager of the cat’s vigorous 2012 U.S. Senate write-in campaign in Virginia — on Thursday announced his cat’s death:

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Photo Credit: huffingtonpost.com

Hank, who ran as an independent, urging Virginians to “Vote The Humans Out,” may not have won many votes. But he inspired concern for animal welfare — a foundation of his political platform, along with the push to end dirty campaigns — and a lot of love.

He also provoked an attack video, purportedly put out by a dog:

Hostile canines aside, Hank’s many supporters have been expressing their sadness and affection on Twitter and Facebook — which O’Leary told HuffPost is some comfort for him and Anthony Roberts, Hank’s other owner and O’Leary’s husband.

“He was one of a kind, and our sorrows are slightly dulled by the fact that he was loved by so many,” O’Leary said.

A couple of weeks before Hank’s cancer diagnosis, the almost-12-year-old one-time candidate, who largely retreated from public life after his defeat in the election won by Democrat Tim Kaine, reemerged, telling the website Catster he hoped his experience would inspire others.

“By breaking the milk ceiling,” he said, most likely via his English-speaking representatives, “I hope that other cats, dogs and other animals decide it’s time to make a difference in their community and follow in my footsteps.”

Those stepping feet may have been small in size, but they were great in ambition, reach, style and even, we’d say, humanity. We’ll miss you, Hank.

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Show your respect for Hank and his owners, by liking his Facebook page. Photo Credit: huffingtonpost.com

More Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/13/hank-the-cat-senate_n_4784836.html

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