Newt. Photo courtesy of MCT Trails on Facebook.EDWARDSVILLE - Newt the trail cat, a cat known for his adventures on the MCT Trails in Edwardsville, has died.

Newt was known by many as a friendly cat who roamed the MCT trails near his home in Edwardsville. His owners, Chris and Lisa Wells, have expressed their sadness about Newt’s passing and thanked the community for their support.

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“He was basically the community’s cat,” Chris Wells said. “So many people have fallen in love with him throughout the years. He was a neat little cat. He loved people. He loved getting on the trails and that’s where he hung out.”

Chris said that Newt came home to eat, sleep and take shelter from cold weather, but he otherwise spent all of his time on the trails. His collar read, “I like to roam,” and everyone who met Newt knew this to be true.

As a kitten, Newt went on camping trips with the Wells family, where he “got a taste for the outdoors.” Any attempts to keep him inside failed, as Newt learned how to unlock the cat door and always found his way back to the trails. Eventually, Chris and Lisa decided to let him spend all his time outside.

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Chris said Newt would often approach bicyclists and walkers on the trails. He wanted to be petted and he would sometimes lie in the middle of the trail until he got attention. People quickly fell in love with the cat.

“It became a thing to where people would just look for him all the time,” Chris remembered. “He was determined he was going to be on the trail. That’s where he loved life.”

Newt attracted so much attention that the Madison County Trails Association created merchandise with his likeness. Profits from the merchandise went to the Metro East Humane Society, where Newt was adopted. In a Facebook page titled “Newt for Mayor,” bikers and walkers shared pictures of the orange tabby and told stories about their interactions with him.

Since his passing, many people have left memorials with “Newt” the Trail Critter, an orange cat sculpture located at Edwardsville Junction that was named for Newt. Chris said the Wells family has been “shocked” by the outpouring of support that Newt received, and they’re grateful for the years they got to spend with Newt while sharing him with the community.

“He’s been a true blessing. We really give credit to God for just giving us one of His creations that has been just a joy to have around,” Chris added. “He was just a simple little cat, but he went so far beyond that in how he touched lives.”

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