Doppler the Weather Cat, a fixture on WSTM-TV weather reports for many years will retire from television during on-air celebrations starting Thursday at 4:00 a.m. during Today In Central New York and at 5:00 p.m. on NBC 3 News.
Doppler, who was adopted by the television station from the SPCA, will live in the loving home of an experienced animal welfare advocate in Central New York.
"Doppler is ready to retire," CNYCentral Chief Meteorologist Wayne Mahar said. "Like all of us, Doppler would prefer to retire while still in relatively decent health. Few people realize that Doppler is 16 years old, that's 84 human years, an age when most of us would have already retired."
The story of Doppler the Weather Cat dates back to the mid-1990's. Wayne Mahar was delivering the forecast on the Weatherdeck. "I heard a meowing from our parking lot. Low and behold, a stray cat makes its way onto the Weatherdeck and jumps up on the table next to me," Mahar recounted. The cat was well fed and had a collar, but from then on every night when the light when on, it showed up on the Weatherdeck. Sadly, the he was struck by a car and killed.
Mahar, a well known animal lover, decided that the station should adopt another cat and give it a good home, but it turned out he didn't like the noise of the Weatherdeck. "There was an issue with the second cat, because although it liked me - it did not care for all the outdoor noise on the Weatherdeck, it was not happy," he said. The second cat was adopted by a nursing home in Watertown where he lived with very loving caretakers.
Eventually, a third cat was adopted from the SPCA. But Mahar and the station had a problem they knew only loyal viewers could solve: What to name the cat? An on-air contest was held, and the response was overwhelming.
"In three weeks we received more than 11,000 entries! There is almost nothing you could say or do on local TV that would elicit that number of responses. It really goes to show just how many animal lovers we have across Central New York. It has been a great run for Doppler, but its not over yet! Doppler can now relax, forget about the backyard noises, car tires squealing, doors slamming, planes overhead and enjoy the life of a Weathercat in retirement," Mahar said.
Join the CNYCentral family as we with Doppler happy retirement on Thursday.
We will celebrate his legendary broadcasting career starting Thursday at 4:00 a.m. during Today In Central New York and at 5:00 p.m. on NBC 3 News.