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  • Writer's pictureCheré Dastugue Coen

The Three-legged cat of Natchez

A limping cat showed up at the Natchez City Hall in 1979 and employees couldn’t turn away such an adorable feline. They gave him veterinarian care, food, water and a litter box. The vet determined that for the cat's best health he needed to amputate a paw and remove his teeth. He became less of a cat but gained an enormous amount of love.

Employees, including the mayor, were so enamored with the cat that he became a permanent part of City Hall and the town. "Tripod" was even the star of TV talk shows — including “P.M. Magazine” — and the recipient of gifts from around the country.

Former Natchez Alderman Hal Wilson, however, wasn’t too keen on having Tripod around; he was allergic to cats. He tried to have the cat removed from City Hall but his motion failed to get a second, according to a story in The Natchez Democrat. Former Mayor Tony Byrne then made a motion to remove Wilson from City Hall but the vote was split and the mayor broke the tie in favor of keeping the alderman around.

Wilson eventually changed his mind, the article states. He was the only one able to reach City Hall during a snowstorm (he lived downtown) and he and Tripod kept each other company in the empty building while the storm raged.

Tripod died on Oct. 9, 1983. But his legacy lives on. He’s buried on City Hall grounds underneath an oak tree. There was a full memorial service and Brookhaven Monument Co. and Natchez Monument Co. donated a headstone bearing his name. The engraving reads: "The City's Kitty."

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