PET OF THE YEAR: Mural Would Memorialize Mini the Cat

Over many late nights in downtown Lunenburg, hearing the faint jingle of a collar meant a friendly visit from Mini the cat.

Mini, the Purcell Family Art Gallery’s calico, passed away on September 12. Whether napping on a pew at St. John’s Anglican Church or guiding restaurant workers to their cars, she was beloved.

Mary Mills, Hodgepodge Lunenburg Eatery operator, announced Mini’s passing on Facebook. Her announcement led to an emotional outpouring, with over 200 people sharing cherished Mini moments.

Mills, following a conversation with gallerist Jennifer Harrison, is planning a mural memorializing Mini. Local artist Emily Powers will design and paint the mural on the billboard outside Loonies and Toonies Dollar Store on Lincoln Street, pending approval from town council this autumn. Mayor Jamie Myra expresses support.

“[Mini] was part of the community. She came to our restaurant every morning, she was part of the family,” says Mills. 

Donations are being collected at businesses including Hodgepodge and Jenny Jib. If the mural doesn’t proceed, funds will go to SHAID Tree Animal Shelter.

Mills intends to hold fundraisers including a silent auction dinner supported by the team of The Curse of Oak Island television show – series stars Rick Lagina, Gary Drayton and Jack Begley have agreed to appear for a meet-and-greet.

Mills says she wants the mural, which has been approved by the Purcell family, to remind people they share their environment with animals – Mini died consuming rat poison left outside, and Mills lost her own cat this month to a driver. She also wants to highlight the community spirit she’s experienced on Lincoln Street as someone who moved here three years ago.

“I want people to see it, and I want the feeling they get to be – ‘Wow, what a beautiful community – I can see the love and the support,’” says Mills.


2 responses to “PET OF THE YEAR: Mural Would Memorialize Mini the Cat”

  1. Nancy

    What a wonderful idea. I appreciate the murals appearing around town and this would be yet another entertaining story . Maybe even another stop on the walking tours! I’ll donate tomorrow!

  2. Daniel

    I did not know who owned Mini the Cat until reading this article, nevertheless she had an outsized role in my family’s life here in Lunenburg.
    Often I would be found walking on Lincoln with 2 or all 3 of my boys aged 2, 5, and 7. The first time they saw Mini, they excitedly rushed her and Mini ran away. I calmly explained to them that they are loud and look big to the cat. I Suggested that next time they let her smell them before trying to pet her. I was not confident that my suggestions would work as cats quickly learn which children to run away from. To my surprise, Mini was tolerant and patient. Even though the kids would still sometimes get excited and rush at Mini, she would always first give them a chance to approach calmly.
    Step by step the kids were starting to learn how to properly approach a cat. After enough practice of a calm approach I next had to remind them to pet as calmly as they approached. Then I taught them to only pet in the correct direction. Finally I was starting to teach them to read Mini’s body language so they knew when she might be uncomfortable from the attention.
    Eventually, my two year old approached mini calmly, pet her calmly (and in the right direction), and didn’t get overly excited. This was the culmination of months of encounters on Lincoln, and a big milestone in his learning of how to interact with and treat animals. That was also the last time we saw Mini.

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