Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Become a sustaining member today and your gift will be matched $2:$1!

Marty The Cat Dies After 12 Years At Mt. Washington Observatory

The Mount Washington Observatory says its resident cat, Marty, died this weekend after a sudden illness.

He was a black Maine Coon cat who spent twelve years at the summit facility, which has had cats as mousers and companions since it opened nearly a century ago.

Credit Mt Washington Observatory / Instagram
Marty looks out over the alpine garden of the tallest mountain in the Northeast.

Observatory operations manager Rebecca Scholand said the mountaintop was Marty’s full-time home, and he had the run of it, inside and outside.

(Click through the slideshow above to see more photos of Marty presiding over the summit.)

Marty would follow weather observers around on the summit cone, chase mice, and coolly greet state park visitors and sometimes their dogs.

“He’d go running through the rotunda area of the Sherman Adams building,” Scholand said, referring to the state park visitor’s center. “He’s, I think, most famous for his very stoic-looking photos overlooking the scenery.”

She said Marty was once given “a very adorable cat technical puffy jacket” by the outdoor equipment company that sponsors the observatory, and fondly recalled struggling to get him and his claws into it for a photoshoot.

Marty also made the facility feel like home for weather observers, Scholand said, keeping them company during their days-long rotations living at the summit.

Credit Eastern Mountain Sports / Facebook
Marty tolerates a "cat technical jacket" made for him by observatory sponsor Eastern Mountain Sports in 2011.

“Just all the different times that he would come up and either startle you because you didn’t realize he was right there when you were sitting at your desk, or come up and kind of rub up against your leg and want to sit in your lap, was a very cool experience,” she said.

The observatory had already planned for the aging Marty to retire to another home off the mountain in the next few months.

They expect to adopt Marty’s successor from a local Humane Society early next year.

The public has sometimes been able to weigh in on which cat the observatory adopts. Scholand said Marty won his election, years ago, in a landslide.

VIDEO: Marty takes a bath

Annie has covered the environment, energy, climate change and the Seacoast region for NHPR since 2017. She leads the newsroom's climate reporting project, By Degrees.

You make NHPR possible.

NHPR is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.