Ocracoke mourns Thurston the cat, ‘keeper of the light’

Thurston the Ocracoke lighthouse cat. [Photo courtesy Ocracats]

Thurston the cat, keeper of the Ocracoke Lighthouse, passed away this week after an illness. The gray and white lighthouse greeter was close to 20 years old.

“It is with great sadness that we said goodbye to our dear lighthouse kitty, Thurston, last evening,” Ocracats, a group dedicated to the care of the island’s feral cat population, wrote in a Facebook post. “His journey across the Rainbow Bridge was surrounded with love and gentleness, as he so deserved.”

Thurston had been a steadfast ‘Keeper of the Light’ for thousands of residents and visitors over the years.

“His steady gaze as you approached the walkway was telling you to ‘come enjoy the lighthouse, but be sure to pet me on the way!’

Though friendly, Thurston was a free spirit, “sniffing the salt air, lounging in the sunbeams and chasing dragonflies.”

Still, he loved treats and tickles.

“May gentle breezes and calm seas carry you to your pot of gold dear Thurston. You will always hold a special place in our hearts,” Ocracats wrote.

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Kari Pugh is digital director for OBXToday.com, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, 94.5 WCMS and News Talk 92.3 WZPR. Reach her at kpugh@jammediallc.com