There are fat cats, and then there is the totally over-the-top cat named Meow.
The orange and white tabby was recently brought into the Santa Fe, N.M., animal shelter tipping the scales at 39 pounds. The 2-year-old feline is so fat he barely fit into his animal carrier, and he can’t play for very long, because the extra weight makes him lose his breath easily.
His feline weight roughly translates into a human weight of more than 600 pounds.
Meow has already gotten caught in his share of cat house doors -- as if all of his nine lives are rolled into one rotund furry feline body.
“This is definitely the biggest kitty I have ever seen in my life. He’s like the Puss in Boots cat in the 'Shrek' cartoons. He thinks he’s smaller than he is and tries to get inside things much tinier than his girth,” said Mary Martin, executive director of the animal shelter.
Officials say Meow was recently taken to a rural shelter outside Roswell, N.M., when its 87-year-old owner said she was no longer able to care for the animal. Roswell was so overwhelmed by the cat that it asked the Santa Fe office to take charge of its rehabilitation.
Martin said the Guinness world record for the heaviest cat is 47 pounds, but that Guinness stopped taking entrants, fearing that owners were fattening up their house kitties just to get in the record books.
When Santa Fe shelter workers saw Meow, their question was: How on Earth did this cat get so fat? Was the critter some latent freak of the nuclear tests done in the Roswell desert?
“At first we heard that the old woman had fed it only hot dogs, but that wasn’t true,” Martin told The Times. “We think she was sedentary and sat in front of her TV feeding the cat. He probably just ate everything in sight.”
Now the shelter has put Meow on a high-protein diet devised by a shelter veterinarian with the ominous name of Dr. Hack. The fear is that, if the cat loses weight too fast and doesn’t eat, it could develop hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver syndrome, Martin said.
For now, Meow is in a temporary foster home because officials fear the stress of the shelter would be too much for him. And there are no worries whatsoever about getting someone to adopt the cat.
Because of local publicity, scores of prospective owners have asked about Meow.
“Still, we’d like to get 10 pounds off him,” Martin said. He’s still a massive kitty. If he lays a certain way, he can’t breathe and his face turns blue. And that’s not good.”