Nevada Railway is located on the “Loneliest Road in America”. It is precisely there that you will catch a cat known as Dirt the Railway Cat .
Hmm, so how could a dirty cat like Dirt gain so much media fandom? It’s true that he does have very distinct markings but he always carries the appearance that he’s been on the tracks working all day with the rest of the railway crew!
The truth is that the engine house of the East Ely Railroad is Dirt’s forever home. He was actually born more than 11 years ago to a stray mama cat that wandered onto the station. Back in the way, his mom gave birth to her kittens under one of the trains. It was a 1907 built rotary snow plow to be precise.
The mom and Dirt’s other siblings left, however, this one specific kitten was all alone but scared to leave. And so, the train crews decided to leave a can of tuna on a chair each and every night for the lonely kitten. Eventually, over time, Dirt because more and more confident and more and more friendly!
Dirt absolutely loved rolling all around on the dirt floors of the engine house and he would climb throughout the coal pines on the steam-powered train. This is how he earned his name – DIRT!
Of course, the name stuck as did the coal. When he was cleaner, Dirt was an orange and white cat, however, because he started rolling in the dirt and climbing on the train, his white fur became stained with gray patches.
Plus, at a very young age, Dirt learned not stop cleaning himself. Perhaps we wanted to look a little more like some of his human work-mates?
“Back when our trains were built, railroading was the 2nd most dangers job in the world. Mining was the first most dangerous job and we were a copper mining railroad, doing the first and second most dangers jobs in the country at the same time in the same place. It took rough and tough men 100 years ago to move millions of tons of rock, by rail to get melted down and make copper to provide electricity to the world. You look at old pictures of those men, and you can just tell in their eyes they have stories to tell. When you look into Dirt’s eyes, he has that same look.” – stated a crew member.
Eventually, Dirt had some kittens of her own. Most of them were orange and white just like her. Over time, these kittens were collected and adopted out to forever homes of their own. Dirt, however, remained with her crew!
Like other animals social media sensation, Dirt gained a whole lot of attention when the museum began to use their own social media push. It was then that a photographer by the name of Steve Crise stepped in and snapped some amazing pictures of Dirt and Dirt became the star she was intended to be!
Image credits : ghost_train_of_old_ely