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.
You might have a good point there, but with Cali Gal it’s psychological believe it, or not.
We forcibly snatched her, and her two kids “Niver”, and “Tigger” from the abusive, neglectful druggies up north of us in 2003. They refused to feed the cats, and refused to spey them after many a demand. The kids of the druggies (Prayers for them) would sneak Cali Gal some of their dinner be it hot dog, pizza, or whatever the mother/father druggies (Meth-heads) would manage to feed the kids.
When we took Cali Gal, and her kittens Cali was wasted, thin, looked like close to death. We’d been feeding her kibble, and water through a fence for months, but the jerk up there would toss the food, and water when he discovered it.
We snatched her, and she ate everything in sight around the ranch. She is speyed, quite the contented cow now, too fat, but she seems to like it opposed to being skinny, and near starving.
My wife is a pre-school teacher with a boy in her class that’s at least 100 lbs. He is HUGE! And he’s 4 years old. His parents don’t give it a 2nd thought. The kid will be dead in 10 years. Labored breathing, red faced all the time. Sad.
That’s so sad. I think allowing pets to be overweight, even by a few ounces is negligence, and morbid obesity should be considered abusive.
The cat was beautiful.
I can’t get my mind around that guy throwing away her food and water. That’s just so deliberately cruel.
God bless you for rescuing her and her kittens, and for giving them a loving home.
> I think he was more stressed not being around people. He was purring all the time.
That’s just nuts.
Purring is what cats do because they’re happy; but, it’s also what they do when severely stressed or badly injured. It helps them cope.
When he becomes a discipline problem give ‘em a few laps.
That reminds me of The Abandoned by Paul Gallico, a great read for anyone interested in cats. "When in Doubt Wash" is an oft-quoted line from that book, a work of fiction to be sure but an interesting perspective from a cat's view of the world.
If you're on the Kitty Ping List and you haven't yet read this, set aside a few hours. It's time well spent, IMHO.
Sorry to hear about your cattle.......
Hi Slings and Arrows:
Here is the URL to the animal rescue organization which the black and white cat name Boots. Scroll down and his picture is there. Big cat.
Big cat, sweet baby.
We had an altar boy at oour church like that. I was worried about him -- huffing and puffing as he scurried down the aisle in preparation to being in the entrance procession. One day he fell off his bike in front of our business, and I had to call his mom (who wasn't home) and his sister came to get him. He's in HS now, and is a perfectly normal size. I hope he keeps the weight down and that it doesn't come back when he's 30.
Poor fat kitty. Who can be proud of that?
I've got an overweight cat and it's hard to keep him out of the food dish since we leave it out for the other cats. Luckily, his favorite one is on a counter and he can't reach it unless he tries hard and I figure that's the closest to exercise I'm going to get short of walking him.
Speaking of walking, does anyone here walk their kittehs? What type of collar do you use as well as what type of leash? Is the collar designed so they can't strangle themselves trying to get out of it? I'd like to get his weight down ten pounds (the vet isn't too concerned but I am), it has to be good for his health and I could use a walk as well. As long as the weight comes off gradually, it's usually safe.
A year and a half? Do you know the beginning and the target weight?
And for some reason, they’re incredibly smart.