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Big Cat with Santa cap.

Worlds Largest Cat 1978-2007 (Gone)

Field review by the editors.

Jersey City, New Jersey

According to some accounts, this cat once rolled down Broadway in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade [see myth-buster below]. It was on the roof of a Jersey City truck stop beginning in 1965 (or maybe 1971) and then relocated the roof to Cliff's Clocks in February 1978, where it stayed until 2007.

A pair of angry guard dogs, a chain link fence, and the cat's relative invisibility on its rooftop perch were probably responsible for keeping it intact in an apocalyptic part of New Jersey. By the time of its 2007 disappearance, the cat was looking increasingly tattered, his right eye going a little wonky.

According to Cliff Gabriel, the cat arrived in February 1978. "I remember, because that's when my daughter was born." A friend of his asked if he could "hold on to it for a couple of weeks" while he got his finances in order. The finances never got ordered, the friend moved to another town ("We still keep in touch," said Cliff) and the cat stayed put. Cliff claimed that the friend, who still technically owned the cat, once had a deal in the works to sell it to Puss 'N Boots, the cat food company, but they backed out of the deal. "It needs a lot of work," Cliff conceded, nodding toward the cat's drooping right eye. "It was never meant to be outdoors."

The big cat.

Cliff said that reports that the cat was originally a float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade were incorrect, and that these rumors prompted at least one angry phone call to him, from an irate former Macy's employee, who insisted that Macy's never would have paraded something as tacky as a giant cat with a Santa's hat.

Cliff has cut down the locust tree that overshadowed the cat, making curbside photography once again possible. This is good, as Cliff is retired now, and although Cliff was polite with us, he really didn't want to be bothered by people asking him about the cat.

Worlds Largest Cat 1978-2007

Cliff's Clocks

Cliff's Clocks. First house on the left side of 7th St., between Newark Ave. and Division St., just past the Holland Tunnel viaduct that towers overhead.

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