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Nevada Rail Museum Cat Who Became an Internet Hit Mourned

By TheNevadaGlobeStaff, January 16, 2023 7:48 am

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (702 Times, NV Globe) – The famed resident cat of the historic Nevada Northern Railway Museum, who unexpectedly became an online phenomenon, passed away.

The railway said on its website that Dirt, which is short for Dirtbag, passed away on Wednesday in the town of Ely at the age of 15.

The semi-feral cat was a mainstay of the gallery. Due to his internet fame—which was brought on by a Facebook photo that an employee shared five years ago—Dirt merchandise, such as keychains, T-shirts, mugs, and even his own coffee blend, have been produced.

At the museum, which is located 386 kilometers (240 miles) north of Las Vegas, dirt was free to come and go. According to Railway President Mark Bassett, he was born in the railroad’s engine house. His trademark orange and white coat gave him his moniker  being stained with dirt and grease and from loathing baths.

Social media regarded the cat less like trash and more like a dignitary when images of Dirt initially started to circulate online.

“We had a family fly over from China to LA, to Las Vegas, rent a car and drive to Ely to see Dirt,” Bassett told the newspaper. “And it’s like, ‘He’s a cat! He’s not on display.’”

The museum is well-known for giving visitors tours of the machine shop and engine house as well as train rides hauled by 100-year-old steam engines. According to Bassett, Dirt always emerged throughout the tour, much to the pleasure of the onlookers who clamoured for his photo.

Unquestionably, he claimed, the cat improved attendance.

According to Bassett, the museum intends to pay tribute to Dirt with two bronze sculptures and a burial service.

In the meanwhile, DJ. Dirt Jr. – another rescue cat that continues to live at the museum.

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