• Marty, the cat, was scheduled to retire from Mount Washington Observatory in 2021
  • The observatory will continue with the tradition of having a cat at the summit
  • Cats have accompanied staff at the observatory since 1932

A cat that patrolled the highest peak in the northeastern U.S. for 12 years as the Mount Washington Observatory’s mascot has died. Marty, a black Maine coon, reportedly succumbed to an "unforeseen illness."

The observatory's summit operations manager, Rebecca Scholand, said Marty was a special companion and entertainer, was incredibly loved by observers, and will be missed, the New York Post reported.

The Mount Washington Observatory staff has been accompanied by cats at the summit of the mountain since 1932.

The observatory recently shared the news that Marty was scheduled to retire in 2021, the Houston Chronicle reported, and stated that the "feline summit tradition will continue."

The observatory paid tribute to Marty in a tweet Monday.

Back in January 2008 when Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate John McCain won their respective races in New Hampshire's presidential primary, the same year Marty, the shelter cat, won 53% of the Mount Washington Mascot Primary, according to WSAV News.

Scholand, a Long Island native, arrived at the summit in 2010 as an intern. She said Marty would dole out his affection in a uniquely feline way. The cat would love people one week and be distant the next week. She described him as a "typical cat."

Scholand said a quarter of a million people visit the summit in the summer months. In the winter, she said, the summit turns into what she described as an "arctic island." Winters are intense inside a large concrete construction built into the mountain, she remarked.

Hurricane-force winds are typical at the summit during the winter months, the British Journal reported. Scholand said visibility up there makes it that "you can't see anything."

And the frozen water droplets that form up there can disrupt instruments, which is why so much manpower is required to keep things operational.

Scholand stated that having a cat in this environment transforms the summit from a place where one lives and works to a place that can be called home.

Cat Pixabay