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The upcoming mayoral election in Rome, Italy has taken a rather unexpected swerve towards animal rights, at face value.

Ignazio Marino, the candidate for the Democratic Party, is being accused of cruelty towards animals. He’s a surgeon, so at some point in his education, chances are that he did dissect a stiff cat.

Current mayor and right-wing candidate Gianni Alemanno lost no time and jumped right into this fray. His communication team released a photo of Mr. Alemanno holding an adorable cat.

The problem is that the cat looks like it might have preferred a shower to this.

And this, presumably, was the best photo of the lot.

Epic Fail.