Editorial: So long, Scoop
September 25, 2013
The death of a mascot is always a sad event. When a college team's mascot passes, another one takes its place.
Not so here at The Aspen Times. When the aptly named office cat, Scoop, took his last breath Monday night, there were no plans to bring in a replacement.
There was just one Scoop, and it took a village to raise this scrappy cat (see Scoop's obituary on today's page A1).
Our front-office manager, Dottie Wolcott, took Scoop — our cat-in-residence since 1996 — under her wing, feeding him daily and coming in on the weekends to make sure Scoop was OK.
Other Times workers also played an integral role in keeping Scoop happy. Sales reps, reporters, copy editors, photographers and circulation drivers. All had a connection to Scoop.
Scoop didn't just ride the clock and eat on the company dime. He, too, held a significant role at the old Times building, as arts editor Stewart Oksenhorn noted in an email addressing the cat's demise: "Scoop, thanks for taking care of our mouse problem. And for taking care of our Dottie. You did a wonderful job on both counts. Hope you still have some lives left. If not, I hope kitty heaven is full of yarn, beds, cat food, mice, people like Dottie, and the Aspen Times. (The old Aspen Times, of course.)"
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Indeed, everybody loved Scoop, and Scoop loved them back.
Even Facebook was abuzz with news of Scoop's transition, as former sports editor Jon Maletz was first to break the news Monday night: "Rest in peace, Scoop."
"Im (sic) gonna miss that stinky old cat," former Times photographer Paul Conrad weighed in on Maletz's post.
"Oh scoop, you will be missed," ex-production manager Kayden Christensen wrote.
When The Aspen Times relocated from its building on Main Street to the old Mother Lode restaurant space on Hyman Avenue this summer, Scoop didn't make the move, instead residing at various locales before transferring to the Aspen Animal Shelter, where, under the care of Seth Sachson and Chad Clark, he spent his final two months in the conference room, along with the company of the facility's chirping birds.
There was also Dr. Scott Dolginow, of Aspen Animal Hospital, who provided comfort to Scoop during his final days on earth.
It was Scoop's time to go, but he lived a full life. Rest in peace, Scoop. And thanks for the memories.