In Loving Memory: ‘Novi’ the Adventure Cat, Manhattan’s Unofficial Mascot

the Adventure Cat, Manhattan's Unofficial Mascot

Last Updated on June 10, 2023 by Fumipets

In Loving Memory: ‘Novi’ the Adventure Cat, Manhattan’s Unofficial Mascot


In a heart-touching tribute to the town’s most loved four-legged resident, the community of Manhattan, Illinois is mourning the loss of its beloved Adventure Cat, Novi.

The cherished local figure, an orange barn cat, turned the small town into his adventure playground and social visiting hotspot.

Novi: The Vibrant Spirit of Manhattan

Known and loved by all, Novi, the friendly orange tabby, was frequently spotted across Manhattan, his visits to the Dollar General and strolls in the neighborhood yards a source of joy and anticipation.

His curious escapades were often celebrated on the town’s Facebook group, which also acted as an alert system during his brief absences.

the Adventure Cat, Manhattan's Unofficial Mascot

<p>Breaking the news on social media, his owners disclosed the sad event. Novi was discovered in a neighbor’s yard, suspected of having suffered a stroke that paralyzed his lower half.

He also had a mass in his left lung. Novi’s twelve-year life journey came to a peaceful end on June 4, surrounded by his loving family.

Novi’s Legacy: A Barn Cat Who Won Hearts

The “Adventure Cat,” as Novi was affectionately called, led a barn cat lifestyle, his previous owner intending to send him to a kill shelter before he was rescued by his current family.

Manhattan residents cherished every opportunity to cross paths with the adventurous feline, his collar tags clearly marking his identity.

Novi’s absence stirred concern among residents, leading to queries and even jests about filing a missing cat report. Novi’s distinctive charm and audacity made him the town’s celebrity.

the Adventure Cat, Manhattan's Unofficial Mascot

“Our favorite neighborhood cat, Novi, has been hanging out by our house the last few days,” shared one resident on social media, providing photographic evidence of Novi lounging on her porch.

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From strolling around pool ledges to sprawling in front of the Dollar General store, Novi’s bold curiosity was unrivaled.

The Story Behind Novi: A Tribute to a Furry Friend

Novi was first encountered by his owner, Tony Reed, at an HVAC business in Tinley Park about seven years ago. The friendly cat left a lasting impression, known for his fearlessness and sociable nature. The business was aptly named A. De Novi Services, which eventually became Novi’s namesake.

As residents came to realize, Novi was a free spirit who could not be contained. “Novi did whatever he wanted to do, no matter what anybody would tell him,” Reed laughingly remembered.

the Adventure Cat, Manhattan's Unofficial Mascot

Despite Reed’s efforts to keep him indoors, especially during harsh winter nights, Novi was keen on enjoying his freedom.

As Novi roamed freely, he was kept safe and well-fed thanks to the community’s collective awareness and care. “He ate well, that’s for sure. Everybody fed him,” Reed added. His popularity even extended to hopping into an open police car window!

Remembering Novi: A Town Mourns

The news of Novi’s passing brought waves of sorrow and heartfelt condolences. “Had the privilege of meeting him and sharing snacks on the front seat of my car! Rest in peace sweet boy!” one resident shared on social media.

Other residents spoke highly of Novi’s uniqueness and influence, with some suggesting a town funeral for the beloved feline.

In the wake of his death, Tony Reed remembered Novi as “a cat like no other,” acknowledging the community’s shared love for the adventurous cat. Novi’s bold exploration combined with the warmth of a loving family was indeed “the best of both worlds.”

Although deeply saddened, Reed found comfort knowing that Novi did not suffer a tragic end. “He didn’t get hit by a car, which was always my number one fear. For his age and what he has done—12 years is a long time for a cat that put up a lot of good fights,” Reed said.

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