Happy Anniversary Marty!

2018-02-26 17:29:16.000 – Ryan Knapp, Weather Observer/Staff Meteorologist


At dinner the other night, someone asked how old Marty was and in explaining his history, I realized that we missed a milestone for him back in January – his 10 year anniversary living with us.
When I first started working here back in December 2005, the resident cat at the time was Nin. He was a white cat with a few black spots. He loved laps and snuggling with people. He would follow us around the building and summit. He knew this was his place and would walk around the rotunda soaking up his adoration from visitors in the summer. He loved the outdoors. I could gush on and on but will just shorten it to – he was awesome!
Nin sitting on an Observatory chairNin
We worked together for two years however, while I was the new kid on the rockpile, he was the old timer. Nin had spent over a dozen years on the summit and was estimated to be in his upper teens by the time I was working with him (he was a few years old when he arrived with us). While he was still in excellent health we also knew he was getting up there in age and wanted him to enjoy his later years with a calmer, quieter environment. So an employee with NH State Parks stepped up to take him in when we settled on his retirement date. We decided we wanted one more Christmas with him, so the Wednesday after Christmas 2007 would be his last day on the summit. When we settled on the date, it seemed so far away at the time but it’s funny how quickly life creeps up on you and suddenly that date loomed just a few days away and I would have to say goodbye yet again to another coworker. The first two years there was a lot of turnover at the Observatory so saying goodbye was nothing new to me but through it all I knew I had one constant I could look forward to each week – Nin. So needless to say, it was difficult putting him in his carrier one last time and saying goodbye at the base.
Ryan Knapp carrying Nin in his carrier on his last day on the summitMe carrying Nin on his last day
In January 2008 we reached out to the Conway Humane Society to see if they had any cats that would work well on the summit. Luckily one of my former coworkers was now working at the Humane Society so knew what type of cat would work well with us. We were given three choices – Sarah, Wilson, and Marty. We decided to organize the “Mount Washington Mascot Primary” and let people help in our choice. We had a bit of fun with it creating posters and a campaign video leading up the January 8, 2008 election. Marty won by a landslide tallying over 50% of the votes cast. And on Wednesday, January 16, 2008, Marty met us at the base and made his way up to his new home. (and for those wondering about Wilson and Sarah – because of the election they found homes too).
Marty arrives at the base of Mt WashingtonMarty meeting me (far left) and my crewmates
When Marty first arrived, it was obvious that he was nothing like Nin. Marty was a black cat (truthfully though, when you get close to him in daylight, he has a lot of brown and auburn in the mix too). He hated laps or snuggling. He was hyper and would dart from place to place. He avoided big crowds. However, he did share one thing in common – he loved the outdoors. Other than that though, he was not what I expected. It was hard adjusting to this new cat as I had one expectation and Marty always seemed to be the opposite.
Time, however, has brought Marty closer in-line to his predecessor. In his decade of living with us, he has become more of a lap cat and snuggler. He has mellowed. He likes to follow us around. He still avoids crowds and most strangers but on occasion he struts his stuff in the rotunda in the summer. He still goes outside but only on fair weather days and more summer than winter. He likes to hang out with us or at least nap in the same area as us. Slowly he is notching his way to becoming yet another awesome summit cat I have worked with.
Marty helping Ryan Knapp record the a.m. radio showsMarty keeping me company while recording
In my dozen plus years of working at the Observatory I have had to say goodbye to plenty of others since saying it to Nin. And I know someday I’ll have to say goodbye to Marty too. But let’s focus on the here and now as this is a happy occasion. So here’s to a decade of Marty being our little buddy and to many more years to come!
Marty catnappingMarty catnapping last Saturday


Ryan Knapp, Weather Observer/Staff Meteorologist

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