Mount Washington’s summit weather station has welcomed a new feline companion.
Nimbus, whose name comes from the gray clouds that carry precipitation, was chosen from four candidates at the Conway Area Humane Society in New Hampshire, according to the Mount Washington Observatory.
He came to the Conway shelter from Oklahoma, where Nimbus was living at Skiatook Paws and Claws Animal Rescue under the name Greg. Skiatook staff rescued Nimbus from Sapulpa Animal Shelter and from possible euthanasia, according to the no-kill shelter’s Facebook page.
The gray shorthair moved into the observatory on April 14.
That announcement comes nearly six months after Mount Washington’s beloved jet black Maine coon cat Marty died after an unforeseen illness. Marty, who was elected to his scratching post atop New England’s tallest peak, spent nearly 12 years keeping the station’s staff and visitors company.
“With the passing of Marty in late 2020, we started the search for a new cat knowing it would have big paws to fill,” said Rebecca Scholand, the observatory’s summit operations manager. “The summit cat is such a special part of our living environment on the summit, making it feel much more like a home on our week-long shifts.”
Marty was chosen as the observatory’s mascot on Jan. 8, 2008, the same day New Hampshire voters decided their Republican and Democratic presidential primaries. He was elected with 53 percent of the vote, beating his fellow feline contenders Wilson and Sarah, who took 26 percent and 21 percent of the vote, respectively, according to Boston.com.
It was the observatory’s first election to select its feline mascot, and more than 8,000 votes were cast, according to the observatory.
He replaced Nin, a black and white cat, who served visitors and staff at the observatory for 12 years before retiring in December 2007. Marty was scheduled to retire from his post at the observatory in early 2021.
His successor, Nimbus, is reportedly very sociable and vocal, meowing, chattering and purring about the summit observatory.
Cats have been a constant presence atop Mount Washington since the 1930s, when the observatory opened as a weather station, according to the Appalachian Mountain Club. The felines originally kept the station free of mice, but later came to be loved for their companionship during weather observers’ long stays on the summit.
Mount Washington at 6,288 feet is the highest mountain east of the Mississippi and north of the Carolinas. It is renowned for its wild weather, including a record-high wind speed of 231 mph measured on April 12, 1934.