Marty The Cat Ascends After More Than A Decade Atop Mount Washington

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When a living being makes a difference to thousands of people for more than a decade, it must be celebrated. And when that living being is a fluffy black cat, even more so! It is exactly what Marty the cat has done in his lifetime. But this adventurous Maine Coon took it a “step up”.

Marty the cat sat on a throne atop the Mount Washington Summit as their mascot for 12 long years! 

But Marty wasn’t born into this elevated kingdom. Oh no, he was actually in the running for one of the most neglected cats there are…a black cat living in a shelter.

His humble beginnings start at the Conway Area Humane Society in Conway, New Hampshire. Not only did the staff instantly fall in love with the long haired panther, so did their supporters. So when a local contest was held to name the new summit mascot, he easily secured victory. 

From the beginning Marty was very popular. He won a voting contest put on by our shelter and received over 4,000 votes to become the Mount Washington Summit Mascot. There was no recount needed, he was the perfect fit!

And this prestigious honor is NOT just a silly marketing stunt. The summit is the is the tallest peak in the Northeastern United States! Marty was the ONLY full-time resident on the peak and reigned supreme.

“He might love you one week and the next week, he wouldn’t come near you,” said an observatory official. “Typical cat.”

Because he isn’t the first mascot that has graced the peaks of Mount Washington over the years. Which by the way is tagged as the “Home of the World’s Worst Weather”!

Since 1932, the summit has been called home by one lucky cat at a time.

Granted, they admit the initiation of the feline hierarchy wasn’t as celebrated an event.  
“Back in kind of our beginning stages they were mostly working cats,” Ms. Scholand told the NYTimes; they would help keep the mice out of the food that was stored there for workers and visitors.
But as the decades changed the world beneath the clouds, it do so for the top cats too. They transformed into much more than dedicated working cats. They became dedicated companions. 
Though as many as a quarter of a million people visit the summit during the summer, by winter it turns into an “arctic island,” Ms. Scholand said. “If you’ve ever watched ‘The Shining,’ it hits a little too close to home on the summit,” she said. “You’re very disconnected from people. You really rely on internet connections and phone calls to connect with people.”
The feline role continued to grow and their “meowtivation” crept into every aspect of the mountain. 
Marty Kitty was getting a practice hike in this morning for Seek the Peak, our non-profits largest annual fundraiser.
Hello! I’m Marty Kitty, the paw-some team leader of the Seek the Peak team, the “Meowtaineers.” As a cathlete, I’m helping my teammates get in purr-fect shape.

After 12 years though, senior Marty, now 14 or 15 years old, was preparing to retire in 2021.

When the felines begin to “slow down” and the elevated lifestyle isn’t the best fit, they happily retire. However Marty the cat’s heart belonged in one place only; 6,000 feet above his doting subjects.
And on November 9th, Marty the cat ascended for the final time. 
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.
This picture is first time I met Marty as an Intern in 2010.
While Marty’s lifetime will be celebrated for decades to come, the summit will be filling the void soon. They haven’t yet decided whether they will be holding a contest or election. But supporters, visitors and adventure seekers can be sure of one thing.
Marty the cat’s majestic beauty will ALWAYS be smiling down upon all of us from above. R.I.Purrs.
2021 calendar
If you would like to donate to the shelter in Marty’s memory please click HERE. Or we also encourage you to make a donation to the Mount Washington Observatory by clicking HERE.
Photos: @MWObs/@ConwayAreaHumaneSociety


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