Skip to comments.Tourists flocking to glimpse fat cat (30 lb orange tabby 'Chester')
Posted on 07/06/2006 7:20:33 AM PDT by hispanarepublicana
PORT ARANSAS - Yes, the fat cat is here.
Among the beach pictures, jewelry and nautical decor at The Connoisseur, Chester roams - slowly.
The 31-pound orange tabby cat has become something of a tourist draw after he was featured in a May segment of Texas Country Reporter, a television travel show.
"They said they wanted to interview Chester," said owner Cassandra Clark. "I thought that was the funniest thing ever, but they were serious."
But even before that, word was traveling about Chester.
"All day, every day, people want to see the cat," said Rhoda Gleason, a store employee.
She and Heather Conner, another worker, know by heart the list of questions that come when customers first see Chester.
Is it real? (Yes.)
How much does he weigh? (About 30 pounds.)
Can he walk? (Yes.)
What does he eat? (He shares one cup of cat food with another cat each day.)
Sure enough, Sam Carnes and his niece Molly McGuire, 8, asked nearly every question during a visit from Boerne.
Donna Slagle and her daughter-in-law, Carmen Slagle, had to come back for a second look.
"I told my husband, 'You've got to see this cat,'" Carmen said.
Chester shares the store with Rat, a calico cat. Clark rescued the two 11 years ago.
They moved to the store about eight years ago when Clark learned her now 9-year-old son was allergic to cats. It was either move the son to the store or the cats. Clark said Chester's recent publicity has brought more customers in, but many just want to eye the cat. She insists Chester's not a marketing tool.
"The cats are not on display," Clark said. "The cats are not here to generate business. We don't wake them up just so you can see them. They live here."
Sandi Stout with the Port Aransas Chamber of Commerce said she's been directing people to Chester, answering phone calls from people vacationing in the area who are making an extra trip to see the fat cat.
"We have a lot of things that people would find interesting that a lot of other people would go right past and never pay any attention to it," she said.
At the store, the cats make themselves at home. Rat likes to nestle inside the trunk of captain's hats, and Chester naps atop a digital scale - it's not a weight-conscious move, Clark says - because he just likes the spot. Another favorite is the countertop, which allows visitors a peek at his belly from below as it spreads out atop the glass.
Clark said the cats share one cup of cat food each day, and only Chester has grown into a tourist attraction. Rat weighs in at 12 pounds. Several cat care Web sites list a cat's ideal weight between 6 and 12 pounds for small and medium breeds and up to 20 pounds for large breeds. Overweight cats may be more prone to diabetes, arthritis and have difficulty grooming.
Clark theorizes Chester's weight may be related to his neutering at an early age, and a slow metabolism.
Clark said she and her veterinarian aren't overly concerned about Chester's weight but will try to bring it down. Chester gets two insulin shots a day to help regulate his blood sugar, and Clark plans to put him on a diet of pure protein with chicken and tuna. But she keeps forgetting to bring the food to the store.
Exercise is out of the question.
"How do you get a cat to exercise?" she asked.
Stop feeding him and make him hunt down and kill his own food. He'll get real thin, real quick.
That's a *Fat Boy*, allright!
"Feed me, Seymour!"
"Hey, I resemble that remark."
Could this 'fat cat' be descended from a MaineCoon? [Actually, the cat in the picture doesn't look all that fat, just big!]
Chester's bigger than Casey, even!
see pic I posted above.
Awwww, Chester is just a big ole guy! I wonder if he's got Maine coon in him.
Bacon and Hap have two big orange boys, and together they don't weigh what Chester does.
lol, my cat can give him some pointers. I stopped feeding him in an effort to run him off. He just started killing his own food. I wish he would leave but I guess he just loves me too much.
btw, this cat just showed up one day. Ny mom started feeding him when she fed the dog.
another excellent case proving evolution. This cat is just becoming a tiger.
It might be a trick of the camera or a deceptively small boy, but Chester's head looks freakishly as large as that little boy's head.
Looks like a good Troll hunter to me.
That's a lot of Chinese food on the hoof... er, on the paw.
Yeah....the owner needs to take him for a walk, not a wok.
OMG, it does! Chester and the kid have the same size head!
That photo was shot with a wide angle lens, which makes things in the distance look smaller and more distant than they really are.
Oh, and the idiot newspaper photographer left his other camera sitting on the floor in the background.
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