2009-07-23 04:59:06.000 – Scot Henley, Executive Director
Nin, hard at work in the weather room in 2005
Mount Washington Observatory has lost an old friend. Nin, the Observatory’s beloved mascot for more than a decade, passed away on July 14.
A rescued stray cat from Vermont, Nin found his way to the Observatory in the mid 1990’s with former observer Mark Ross-Parent. Over the twelve years that Nin ruled the summit, his furry face became nearly as well known as the mountain’s weather itself. He brought joy to weather observers, interns, volunteers, visitors, website viewers and fans across the country. He certainly brought smiles and laughs to thousands of Mt. Washington State Park visitors, who undoubtedly scratched their heads with bewilderment when they noticed a rotund white cat patrolling the top of the tallest mountain in New England.
For the Obs crew, Nin made our cold, concrete mountaintop workplace feel a little bit like home. He was intelligent, funny and had quite the personality.
When Nin retired from his Observatory post in December of 2007, the story swept across the country and around the world. Observatory members sent in newspaper clippings from all across the nation. The story could be found in print and on television, radio and Internet, coast to coast and as far away as China, Austria and France. On the day the story of Nin’s retirement broke, the Observatory website had one of the biggest days of web traffic ever, surpassed only by our recent feature in National Geographic Magazine.
Another indicator of how special Nin was, a children’s book entitled ‘Cat in the Clouds’ has been written about his days at the Observatory, penned by former observer Eric Pinder and published by The History Press. For years to come, Nin’s story will touch the lives of children around the country through this beautifully-illustrated picture book.
After his retirement, Nin lived with and was cared for by Mt. Washington State Park’s Mike Pelchat and Diane Holmes of Gorham. Mike and Diane graciously took him in and provided Nin with a wonderful quality of life, and for that all of us here at the Observatory are truly grateful. It’s quite fitting that Nin’s final resting place has a nice view of the Northern Presidentials, mountain peaks that Nin could see from the Observatory for most of his life.
Scot Henley, Executive Director