Marty, a black, long-haired Maine coon cat, patrolled the US Northeast’s highest peak, Mount Washington Observatory, for twelve years as its mascot.
The shelter cat won 53% of the Mount Washington Mascot Primary in January 2008, beating two other shelter cats from the Conway Area Humane Society. He arrived as an energetic youngster and mellowed out to be a loyal lap warmer, who still loved to go on adventures.
Sadly, the charismatic and beloved cat just passed away due to “an unforeseen illness”. Mount Washington Observatory posted, “It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of Marty the Cat. For many years he has provided summit staff with companionship and love. Due to an unforeseen illness he passed peacefully in my arms. To Marty the Cat, thank you for all your silliness, snuggles, and companionship not only to the summit staff, but to everyone who ever met you.”
The 6,288-foot summit, located in “one of Earth’s most extreme environments”, operates a weather station and has had a mascot/resident cat since 1932, and plans to continue with the tradition. The first few cats were strays that were brought to help keep mice out but quickly became companions to the staff who lived onsite.
Today, staff members rotate weekly, so many people were able to meet and fall in love with Marty.
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Marty will never be forgotten as hundreds of people shared photos of him and recounted their visit with him on the summit.
“We stopped in on our one day pressie traverse. I asked after him and someone was kind enough to find him so I could say hi in person. So sorry for your loss. I’ll always associate him with the top of Mt Washington,” said one visitor. Another wrote, “The highlight of our last visit up was time with Marty.. we are so sorry for your loss – he truly was a wonderful boy.”
A volunteer commented, “My favorite part of volunteering, Marty you will be missed.”
Mount Washington Summit Operations Manager Rebecca Scholand said in a press release Monday, “As a past observer who lived on the summit for four years, I can tell you Marty was a special companion, entertainer and so incredibly loved by observers and state park staff and will be sadly missed.”
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