When you're the Congressman representing the fine people of Muncie, Indiana, you darn well better be fluent in all things Garfield.
Muncie, of course, is Jim Davis's hometown. Paws Inc., the licensing studio and production company behind Garfield, is also headquartered in Muncie. The big orange cat, who turns 40 on June 19, is kind of a big deal there, as he is in most of the rest of Indiana.
So it was the political equivilant of a slam-dunk when Mike Pence, then a U.S. representative from Indiana, strode confidently toward the House floor for the "awesome and important duty" of wishing Garfield a happy birthday in June 2003.
Garfield was turning 25 back then. There was no way of knowing that Pence would one day become vice president of the United States, or that a video of him issuing his "happy birthday, Garfield" proclamation would circulate the Internet. In 2003, YouTube was two years away from becoming YouTube.
Regardless of your political tastes, watching the future VP gush about Garfield (he even creates a new adjective when describing the cat--"sluvenly"), is pretty amusing. Click here to watch the uncut, four-minute extended dance version of Pence's proclamation. And if watching Pence speak for four minutes on any topic is more than you can stand, click here to take in the 1987 television classic, A Garfield Christmas Special.