Chatham County Animal Shelter in Pittsboro, North Carolina, came into possession of a 31-pound stray cat last week and he soon came to be called Mr. Handsome following which the shelter has been flooded with adoption request for the luxurious tabby cat.
The man who brought the cat to the shelter on July 17, said he had been hanging around his home for around three days, shelter attendant Tiffany Foushee said.
Although he was obviously fed and loved by someone, his owner has not been found yet.
“We have never had a cat this big in the 10 years I’ve been here,” said Ginny Jenrette from the shelter. “I also worked at a veterinary clinic prior to this and the largest cat I had seen there was 26 pounds.”
Jenrette described the big guy as “friendly, neutered and clearly well fed.”
At exactly 31.4 pounds, Mr. Handsome is being dubbed as the largest cat alive and is being kept in an office because he is too large to fit properly inside a standard kennel.
The big feline himself selected the cabinet where he made himself comfortable, so the authorities cleared out the lower shelf for him.
“He loves being petted, he loves to be brushed,” Foushee — the woman pictured struggling to hold on to Mr. Handsome — told Huffington Post.
“He’s a really good boy.”
When the CCAS posted about Mr. Handsome on their Facebook page on July 17, the post went viral amassing more than 2,900 likes and 14,400 shares.
The shelter has witnessed such a deluge of adoption requests that they have been forced to make an exception to their process and have asked applicants to fill out a form following which a draw will be conducted, and a name will be selected.
The draw will begin on July 24 at noon and will continue through July 26 till 4 p.m. The drawing will take place July 27 at 10 a.m.
Animal Services Director Alan Canady said, “We are a small rural shelter on a narrow road. We simply could not accommodate large numbers of people arriving and parking here on Monday.”
The shelter said it would review the winner so it is made sure Mr. Handsome will go to the right home. If the initial name drawn does not pass the review, a second name will be drawn.
The CCAS says that the cat’s weight is far beyond healthy and whoever wins must sign a document acknowledging the feline “will need some pretty extensive vet care” including an exam, blood work to determine if he has any medical issues like diabetes, and a diet plan prescribed by a veterinarian.
The normal weight for a typical domestic cat is between 8 and 10 pounds while some breeds and frames can range 12 to 18 pounds. A pet being overweight or obese can lead to serious health problems, and Mr. Handsome’s weight should be ideally around 18 pounds said Foushee.
The breed Maine Coons can grow as large as 25 pounds, but the tabby in news does not belong to that category.
Foushee encouraged people to seek out other cats in need of a home, either from Chatham County Animal Services or their own local communities.
She said, “I know he’s special because he’s 31 pounds” but that there are tons of other felines out there who could do with some love and care and a home.
[Featured Image by Zlata_Titmouse/Shutterstock]