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Historic Halifax ship’s beloved longtime ‘rodent control officer’ dies

Erik The Red rests on a table in the chart room of the CSS Acadia in Halifax, N.S., during his retirement party on Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015.
Erik The Red rests on a table in the chart room of the CSS Acadia in Halifax, N.S., during his retirement party on Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015. The Canadian Press/Aly Thomson

The best-loved cat on Halifax’s waterfront has died.

Erik the Red, the retired “rodent control officer” at the CSS Acadia national historic site, passed away Tuesday.

The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, where the Acadia is moored, announced the death Thursday, saying Erik died “quietly at home after a brief illness.”

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The museum said they believe he was between 20 and 22 years old.

The elderly orange tabby was the ship’s rodent control officer for more than 15 years before retiring in 2015 to share a home in Halifax’s north end with a human co-worker.

Erik was often seen wandering around the shops and restaurants on the waterfront. Some offered him sweaters in the winter, while museum staff are convinced others puffed Erik up with treats.

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WATCH: Erik The Red Retires

He had survived three cat-nappings and 16 winters on board the Acadia.

The Acadia, a Canadian Scientific Ship, was retired in 1969 after 56 years of service and designated a national historic site in 1976.

— with files from Alexander Quon