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Tourists flocking to glimpse fat cat (30 lb orange tabby 'Chester')
Bryan-College Station Eagle (AP) ^ | 7/6/06 | Beth Wilson for AP

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.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: cats; generalchat
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I'll try to find a pic of the fat feline. Sounds to me like Rat is getting the short end of the stick at mealtime.
1 posted on 07/06/2006 7:20:37 AM PDT by hispanarepublicana
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To: Slings and Arrows
ping


2 posted on 07/06/2006 7:22:52 AM PDT by hispanarepublicana (Don't fall for the soft bigotry of assuming all Hispanics are pro-amnesty. www.dontspeakforme.org)
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To: hispanarepublicana
"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.

3 posted on 07/06/2006 7:24:26 AM PDT by Ol' Dan Tucker (Karen Ryan reporting...)
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To: hispanarepublicana

That's a *Fat Boy*, allright!

"Feed me, Seymour!"


4 posted on 07/06/2006 7:25:16 AM PDT by butternut_squash_bisque (The recipe's at my FR HomePage. Try it!)
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To: hispanarepublicana

"Hey, I resemble that remark."

5 posted on 07/06/2006 7:27:50 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: hispanarepublicana

6 posted on 07/06/2006 7:30:35 AM PDT by RightWingAtheist (Creationism is to conservatism what Howard Dean is to liberalism)
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To: hispanarepublicana

Could this 'fat cat' be descended from a MaineCoon? [Actually, the cat in the picture doesn't look all that fat, just big!]


7 posted on 07/06/2006 7:31:08 AM PDT by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote life support for others.)
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To: Bacon Man; Hap

Chester's bigger than Casey, even!


8 posted on 07/06/2006 7:32:17 AM PDT by Xenalyte (I want you to remember this face. This is the guy behind the guy behind the guy.)
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To: MHGinTN
You might be right. I found another pic, and he appears to just be "big boned". (That's MY story, and I'm sticking to it).


9 posted on 07/06/2006 7:33:21 AM PDT by hispanarepublicana (Don't fall for the soft bigotry of assuming all Hispanics are pro-amnesty. www.dontspeakforme.org)
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To: Xenalyte

see pic I posted above.


10 posted on 07/06/2006 7:33:53 AM PDT by hispanarepublicana (Don't fall for the soft bigotry of assuming all Hispanics are pro-amnesty. www.dontspeakforme.org)
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To: hispanarepublicana; Bacon Man; Hap

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.


11 posted on 07/06/2006 7:35:24 AM PDT by Xenalyte (I want you to remember this face. This is the guy behind the guy behind the guy.)
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To: Ol' Dan Tucker

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.


12 posted on 07/06/2006 7:40:08 AM PDT by Ainast
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To: hispanarepublicana

another excellent case proving evolution. This cat is just becoming a tiger.


hehehe. jk


13 posted on 07/06/2006 7:42:13 AM PDT by Ainast
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To: Xenalyte

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.


14 posted on 07/06/2006 7:42:20 AM PDT by hispanarepublicana (Don't fall for the soft bigotry of assuming all Hispanics are pro-amnesty. www.dontspeakforme.org)
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To: hispanarepublicana

Looks like a good Troll hunter to me.


15 posted on 07/06/2006 7:43:10 AM PDT by The South Texan (The Democrat Party and the leftist (ABCCBSNBCCNN NYLATIMES)media are a criminal enterprise!)
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To: hispanarepublicana

That's a lot of Chinese food on the hoof... er, on the paw.


16 posted on 07/06/2006 7:44:08 AM PDT by Constitution Day (Down with Half-Assery!)
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To: Constitution Day

Yeah....the owner needs to take him for a walk, not a wok.


17 posted on 07/06/2006 7:46:07 AM PDT by hispanarepublicana (Don't fall for the soft bigotry of assuming all Hispanics are pro-amnesty. www.dontspeakforme.org)
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To: hispanarepublicana

LOL!


18 posted on 07/06/2006 7:46:41 AM PDT by Constitution Day (Down with Half-Assery!)
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To: hispanarepublicana

OMG, it does! Chester and the kid have the same size head!


19 posted on 07/06/2006 7:46:47 AM PDT by Xenalyte (I want you to remember this face. This is the guy behind the guy behind the guy.)
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To: hispanarepublicana

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.


20 posted on 07/06/2006 7:48:34 AM PDT by MediaMole
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To: MediaMole

And our friend in the cowboy hat has a red neck, so he must be a......ah, never mind....he's got a Treo.


21 posted on 07/06/2006 7:50:12 AM PDT by hispanarepublicana (Don't fall for the soft bigotry of assuming all Hispanics are pro-amnesty. www.dontspeakforme.org)
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To: hispanarepublicana

the cat's name is Riley and the woman is Martha
I don't know either of them but the picture is cool

22 posted on 07/06/2006 8:03:05 AM PDT by rface ("...the most schizoid freeper I've ever seen" - New Bloomfield, Missouri)
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To: hispanarepublicana

Can they please be arrested for animal cruelty


23 posted on 07/06/2006 8:04:45 AM PDT by SengirV
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To: SengirV

Well, he only gets a cup of food a day, and they do give him insulin shots....


24 posted on 07/06/2006 8:09:09 AM PDT by hispanarepublicana (Don't fall for the soft bigotry of assuming all Hispanics are pro-amnesty. www.dontspeakforme.org)
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To: hispanarepublicana

I have a fat cat living with me ... look at the head on that cat and the size of the paws! THAT cat in the picture is a BIG cat, not a fat cat.


25 posted on 07/06/2006 8:09:54 AM PDT by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote life support for others.)
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To: Ol' Dan Tucker
Stop feeding him and make him hunt down and kill his own food. He'll get real thin, real quick.

Or he might hunt the only nearby prey that's big enough to feed his huge appetite. Fortunately for the cat that prey is slow and stupid enough so that instead of running off it walks up the the big fuzzy hunter and says "aww, look at the fat pussy cat". Remember, that bag of cat chow is the only think that keeps you off the menu.

26 posted on 07/06/2006 8:10:52 AM PDT by KarlInOhio (Loose lips sink ships - and the New York Times really doesn't have a problem with sinking ships.)
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To: hispanarepublicana; Slings and Arrows; Glenn; republicangel; Bahbah; Beaker; BADROTOFINGER; ...

"BRING ME LASGANA!"

[Thanks to hispanarepublicana for the ping!]


27 posted on 07/06/2006 8:11:14 AM PDT by Slings and Arrows (Pray for peace, prepare for war.)
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To: stylecouncilor

ping


28 posted on 07/06/2006 8:19:44 AM PDT by windcliff
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To: hispanarepublicana

yeah, and fatties gain wait from only LOOKING at oreos.


29 posted on 07/06/2006 8:26:37 AM PDT by SengirV
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To: Slings and Arrows

Hi beautiful Kitty Kat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


30 posted on 07/06/2006 8:27:23 AM PDT by angcat ("IF YOU DON'T STAND BEHIND OUR TROOPS, PLEASE, FEEL FREE TO STAND IN FRONT OF THEM !")
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To: hispanarepublicana

Whoa. Kitty needs a stint on the Catkins Diet...


31 posted on 07/06/2006 8:27:49 AM PDT by mewzilla (Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist. John Adams)
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To: hispanarepublicana
Feh! My Mom's cat, Bubba, came in at around 34 pounds the last time he was weighed -- early last year.



I printed off the pic of Chester for her to see. She said he looks like Bubba . . . only smaller :-)
32 posted on 07/06/2006 8:29:11 AM PDT by MrEddieLaRue
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To: rface; All

My two kitty-kids weight 20, and 22 lbs. They are huge cats and a pleasure to have around.


33 posted on 07/06/2006 8:29:26 AM PDT by devane617 (It's McCain and a Rat -- Now what?)
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To: mewzilla
Feline Diabetes
34 posted on 07/06/2006 8:31:49 AM PDT by mewzilla (Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist. John Adams)
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To: Xenalyte; Foxfire4
Meet Livingston.

He's one of our purebred Maine Coons and he's just over 25 pounds. Yeah, he's fat, but he's not THAT fat. He's just bloody HUGE. (We figure his scientific name must be fattus cattus.)

He really needs to lose a little weight, but the problem is, we've got a second Maine Coon, Beauregard, that's a rescue and is ultra-scrawny. He's healthy, he's been checked out as clean, but he's rail-thin and won't eat a lot. So if we put out enough food for Bo, Livingston pigs; and if we cut Livingston's food back, Bo doesn't get enough. And let me tell you, hiding food for the scrawny cat doesn't work. Livingston can be VERY limber and athletic when there's food to be found.

I'd about guarantee Chester's got some Maine Coon Cat, or possibly Norwegian Forest Cat, in his family tree. I've seen pictures of a purebred MCC from a breeder in southern Indiana; the cat, Leo, is orange like Chester, but he's 33 pounds and tall enough to reach around a doorknob when standing on his hind legs. And he's NOT fat.

}:-)4

35 posted on 07/06/2006 8:32:47 AM PDT by Moose4 (Dirka dirka Mohammed jihad.)
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To: Moose4
So if we put out enough food for Bo, Livingston pigs; and if we cut Livingston's food back, Bo doesn't get enough.

Our Maine Coon would never eat all of his food but would hide it under anything that was handy for later.

36 posted on 07/06/2006 8:51:16 AM PDT by Mike Darancette (Make them go home!!)
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To: Slings and Arrows

Perhaps the leader of Viking Kitties has been discovered!


37 posted on 07/06/2006 8:55:58 AM PDT by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote life support for others.)
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To: Moose4

You have a beautiful kitty!


38 posted on 07/06/2006 9:01:15 AM PDT by iceskater (One person's mess is another person's filing system.)
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To: Mike Darancette

Hee hee. I love it when our Pontiac tries to bury his leftovers by scratching the floor and wall next to his food bowl. That's a good boy, Pontie, cover it up! LOL


39 posted on 07/06/2006 9:03:22 AM PDT by To Hell With Poverty (To Hell With Pisslam!)
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To: hispanarepublicana

That cat is truly big. Reminds me of my orange cat name Pumpkin. Cats to me are like people, but they have fur.


40 posted on 07/06/2006 9:07:21 AM PDT by Biggirl (A biggirl with a big heart for God's animal creation.)
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To: hispanarepublicana

I've got a nice Maine Coon cat and he goes 20 lbs. Skin and bones.


41 posted on 07/06/2006 9:37:23 AM PDT by TexanToTheCore (This space for hire...)
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To: To Hell With Poverty
That's a good boy, Pontie, cover it up! LOL

I used to think that was a cat's way of saying, "This food tastes like s**t".

42 posted on 07/06/2006 9:48:38 AM PDT by Mike Darancette (Make them go home!!)
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To: MrEddieLaRue

Man! I thought I'd seen some huge pussies......


43 posted on 07/06/2006 9:50:02 AM PDT by FixitGuy
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To: Moose4
Good Lord! That cat is BREATHTAKING! What a beauty. Now I'm going to have to post a pic of my sweety-boy (although, compared to Chester and Livingston--he's an anorectic 13 lbs.)

The photo is nicely done, too. Beautiful use of light and composition.

44 posted on 07/06/2006 10:05:18 AM PDT by RepoGirl ("Bobby, if you weren't my son... I'd hug you...")
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To: Ol' Dan Tucker

You can't starve a fat cat....the fat goes in the liver too fast and they can die.


45 posted on 07/06/2006 10:17:46 AM PDT by Fawn (BUILD A LONG TALL WALL)
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To: RepoGirl
Thanks. He really is a very pretty cat, albeit rather badly in need of a bath and a groom right now. He's got some kitty dandruff that we need to work on. He's a wonderfully-dispositioned cat too...dumb as a box of rocks, but very nice. He's just not a very bright cat. But when you've got a face like that and giant white furry tufted paws, I guess you don't need to be bright.

This is our other Maine Coon Cat, Beauregard, with his own tribute to the Bush Administration...the Condoleeza Rice Death Stare(tm):

}:-)4

46 posted on 07/06/2006 11:52:57 AM PDT by Moose4 (Dirka dirka Mohammed jihad.)
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To: iceskater

Thank you!

It's hard to judge from that picture of Chester with the boy, but our Livingston's probably a bit shorter and smaller than Chester (since he's 5-6 pounds lighter). But, he's a longhair, so the fur makes up for it.

I think Chester's the biggest shorthair cat I've ever seen. Not fattest, BIGGEST.

}:-)4


47 posted on 07/06/2006 11:59:54 AM PDT by Moose4 (Dirka dirka Mohammed jihad.)
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To: hispanarepublicana
"That cat has nothing on me" Signed Buddy Cat
48 posted on 07/06/2006 12:01:43 PM PDT by CaptainK (...please make it stop. Shake a can of pennies at it.)
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To: Fawn
You can't starve a fat cat....the fat goes in the liver too fast and they can die.

I didn't say starve the cat.

I said stop feeding him and make him hunt down his own dinner.

The reason cats (like all animals) get fat in the first place is they're eating more calories than they're burning.

The only way to get thin is to change the imbalance by excercising to burn off the excess calories or to reduce the intake. The best way is to do both.

And, that's exactly what would happen if the cat had to hunt down his own food.

49 posted on 07/06/2006 12:20:35 PM PDT by Ol' Dan Tucker (Karen Ryan reporting...)
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To: Moose4

All this discussion of fat kitties reminds me of an ice cream place in the Outer Banks. The "Fat Cat" Ice Cream store. The have bulletin boards in the store with photos of fat cats from all around the country. Some of those photos were pretty amazing.


50 posted on 07/06/2006 12:21:31 PM PDT by iceskater (One person's mess is another person's filing system.)
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