A 35-pound orange tabby cat named Bazooka has captured the hearts of Americans with his massive amount of fluff and sorrowful backstory.
Bazooka was placed in the care of the Wake County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Raleigh, North Carolina, after his previous owner died.
The hefty hunk of love weighed in at an impressive 35 pounds, and while his extra-sized body makes him extra adorable, SPCA staff say the cat cannot remain overweight.
“That’s one big boy! (35lbs big!)” SPCA of Wake County posted on social media, introducing Bazooka to the world.
“Bazooka arrived at the SPCA today where he‘ll receive some much needed medical care. Let’s all send our well wishes to Bazooka as he begins his weight loss journey!”
The staff at Wake County learned that Bazooka had lived in a comfortable home with an elderly man who had dementia.
They believe that Bazooka’s weight began to skyrocket because his owner, who could not remember whether or not he fed his cat, repeatedly kept filling the empty cat dish with food.
“He thought he was doing the best thing for his cat by feeding him,” SPCA of Wake County communications director Darci VanderSlik told The News & Observer.
“We need to look on this with a compassionate view. He was loved.”
Bazooka was quickly placed with an experienced pet foster parent, Michelle Barry, who took on the task of feeding Bazooka the correct amount of food during the temporary stay in her home.
Barry said the cat was active and playful, even jumping up onto the bed without assistance.
“He wants to be around people,” Barry said.
“He’s happiest lying right next to you. And he’s more active than I expected him to be.”
While many admirers wrote on social media they would love to adopt the lovable cat, Bazooka already has a permanent family lined up and is moving in on Monday, WABC-TV reported.
VanderSlik said even though Bazooka is no longer up for adoption, plenty of other cats and dogs are still waiting for the right home.
She hopes that Bazooka’s story will help people remember that is really is important to pay attention to your pet’s diet, as an overweight pet can develop chronic health problems.
“We don’t know a lot of the backstories of the animals we get, but we try not to judge people or make people feel bad about the circumstances that led to their surrender,” VanderSlik said.
“We’re really lucky to have the resources to take him in and help him get a home he deserves.”
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.