‘Dirt’ Railroad Cat In Ely, Nevada, Dies At Age 15
By TheNevadaGlobeStaff, January 12, 2023 3:05 am
NEVADA – Dirt, the famous cat of Nevada Northern Railway in Ely, died at age 15.
Workers initially dubbed the cat Dirtbag, but after he began attracting tourists’ attention, the name was shortened to just Dirt.
“He developed into a huge, rough-and-tumble tom cat who commanded the shop and the neighboring neighborhood. We witnessed him playing fetch with gophers and bats. Don’t ask us how he acquired them; he just did. He despised being cleaned up, but he enjoyed being a railroader. It was not uncommon to see him rolling around in the dust outside the business.”
Staff members took good care of him, taking him to the vet and washing him up, but he didn’t enjoy it and preferred non-clean spots in the machine shop and engine house.
Dirt got famous after a photograph taken in 2018 went viral, and pieces about him were published in The Washington Post, Trains Magazine, and newspapers all around Europe.
“Dirt was one-of-a-kind. He worked as the Nevada Northern Railway’s Boss Shop Cat. Con, our Trainmaster, chose a site on the grounds between the Depot and the Freight Depot in the shade of a pine to be his final resting place. His burial place is opposite where all of our excursion trains’ locomotives sit before departure, and it provides a view over the yard, which, together with the shop, was Dirt’s domain.”
The museum goes on to explain, “Dirt will be immortalized with two life-size bronze statues. One will serve as his gravestone, while the other will be placed in the machine shop so Dirt can keep an eye on things. We’ll keep you updated when more information about the bronzes becomes available.”
While the museum is “saddened by the demise of Dirt,” they do have a second cat that resides on the grounds, suitably named Dirt Junior or DJ.
Credits: 2 News
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