Skip to comments.Meow the 39-pound cat dies
Posted on 05/10/2012 9:13:02 AM PDT by Jack Hydrazine
The extra pounds that propelled Meow the shelter cat to national celebrity have killed him.
The 5-year-old, 39-pound cat died Saturday of respiratory complications related to his girth, Santa Fe Animal Shelter executive director Mary Martin said Monday.
The huge but personable feline became the subject of nationwide fame last month after appearing with Anderson Cooper and on the Today show where Meow met actor Hugh Grant as part of a media blitz to warn pet owners of the dangers of pet obesity.
Meow traveled between Santa Fe and the East Coast for his TV appearances by airplane in a carrier that was stowed in an area for animals near the luggage.
When asked Monday, shelter officials denied that the jetting around and the pressures of meeting his fans might have contributed to Meows demise a theory put forth by many on the Internet after news of the fat cats death hit news sites around the world.
We were wondering about that, Martin acknowledged. But he wasnt showing that. Cats dont like stress. But he liked people. I think he was more stressed not being around people. He was purring all the time.
And shelter officials said Meow did well in New York while hitting the talk-show circuit.
The cat had found refuge in Santa Fe after his elderly Roswell owner could no longer care for him.
Santa Fe veterinarian Jennifer Steketee thought Meows health had been improving because he had lost two to three pounds. The average cat weighs between 8 and 12 pounds.
Meow had been transferred into a foster home after a phys- ical examination, blood work and a weight-loss plan were completed at the shelter.
Hed been doing really well, Martin said. Hed been climbing the stairs, an activity he had never attempted before. He loved his brush and would push his head against it to ask for grooming, she added.
The shelter had put him on a diet of fresh protein chicken and turkey, with some Wellness kibble, she said.
The Roswell shelter told us he had been on a hot dog diet, Martin continued. Then (the former owners) daughter said that was not true. So we dont really know what he had been eating.
But on Thursday Meows foster family noticed he wasnt eating well and was wheezing.
He ate a snack here and there, but he wasnt eating very much, Martin said.
Steketee took him to an emergency veterinary hospital, where doctors gave him oxygen and asthma medicine.
His vital signs werent great, but they werent horrible, Martin said. We kept him on oxygen to make him comfortable.
Staff members took him to another clinic for a cardiac ultrasound, which showed nothing wrong. He spent the night there.
Meow seemed stable Friday morning, so Steketee took him to her home to watch him. I wouldnt let him out of my sight, she said.
His condition had deteriorated by Saturday, so Steketee took him back to the clinic. His heart stopped early Saturday afternoon.
I think the consequences of his obesity for 4½ years just caught up with him, Steketee said. He just took a turn for the worse despite everything we did to turn it around. He was bright and alert and cheerful until those respiratory symptoms started. It challenged every part of his body to fight against this extra weight. His lungs had to push against this huge layer of fat.
The story of the brown-andwhite kitty with the bright green eyes touched a chord with thousands. Although shelter staffers originally thought he was 2 years old, his former owners daughter said he was actually 5, Martin said.
The fact is he died here at 5 years of age, Steketee said. Most cats actually live to 15-20. Its a preventable problem.
The shelter staf f were astounded by the avalanche of attention over Meows story.
When we put this out, we thought maybe local folks would pick it up, Martin continued. This (obesity) is an epidemic. Weve gotten comments (on Facebook) like Meow has inspired me as a human being to lose weight.
Video about Meow.
No, I'm afraid it was the sight of Anderson Cooper that did him in.
I recently met a really fat cat. The owners said he had a medical condition that took a long time to figure out and got fat during the time that he was not feeling very good or very mobile. What I didn’t realize is that it is a very long, slow process to bring down a cat’s weight in a healthy way. They are a few months into a year and a half process.
Poor kitty. Obesity ain’t good for anyone, cat or human.
If this huge misfortune applies to humans why are we still burdened with Michael Moore?
A toy company should make a Meow Cat stuffed toy cat that looks just like him.
Da Bruddah Iz of da feline world.
Our Maine Coon girl cat, Miss Olivia is large and in charge at 14.5 pounds, but that’s OK for that breed.
Sad. I’d bet open bowl, and no activity. Just a layabout, and packed on the pounds.
We have a 16 year old Calico with similar problem. She just wants to lay on the couch, watch “Queen for a Day”, and eat bon bons.
My kitten, Chaos, is 8 months old and is already 13 pounds. I’m not sure what breed he is- I adopted him as an 8 week-old orphan right after Hurricane Irene- but I’m thinking he has either Norwegian Forest cat or Maine Coon in his lineage. He’s so big that we call him our “Geico watch panther”. :-)
There is a large size cat at the no-kill cat shelter that I socialize, but he would be considered small compared to Meow. Very, very sad that Meow had passed. Must have been fed nothing but dry cat food, which if not combined with wet, will put on the pounds in no time. :(=^..^=
The cat in question that I brought up, he is a large black and white tux by the name of Boots. :)=^..^=
Now, that’s one fat cat. Still a sad story, though.
Blurry screen bump.
Poor baby. She’s at the age where playing and being active isn’t too high on her list,
I’m convinced that the junky high-carb cat foods have a lot to do with feline fatness. Cats aren’t made to digest carbs.
This is my lurker.
Tuxedo kitties are the best.