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Fat cat a victim of foreclosure

A 44-pound cat found lumbering around New Jersey was abandoned by a woman who said her home was foreclosed, an animal shelter official said Thursday.
/ Source: TODAY staff and wire

A 44-pound cat found lumbering around New Jersey was abandoned by a woman who said her home was foreclosed, an animal shelter official said Thursday. The porky white cat found Saturday became a local media sensation and was dubbed "Princess Chunk". But the animal is really a male whose name is Powder. Jennifer Andersch, director of the Camden County Animal Shelter, said Thursday that the cat's owner came forward to describe the animal's background. "It broke my heart to give him up," 68-year-old Donna Oklatner told of the 10-year-old pet. "I could not take care of him. I love him. It broke me heart. I wanted him to have a good home." She told the station that she had given the cat to friends who said they'd take him to a shelter.

Shelter officials had been calling the porky cutie "Princess Chunk." But during an exam by a veterinarian on “Live with Regis and Kelly” on Thursday morning it was determined that "Princess" was actually a male.

According to media reports, the cat's former owner is now staying with friends. Because of her circumstances, she was "very sad" she could no longer care for the 44-pound cat, Andersch told the Philadelphia Inquirer. The owner was able to find a home for her other cat, Powder's brother, who isn't quite as chunky, she said.

A star is born
The shelter has received more than 800 calls inquiring about the portly feline and at least 20 formal applications to adopt him. He's become a media star, appearing on the cover of the New York Post and scheduled to appear on “Good Morning America” tomorrow.

"We in the media love a 44-pound cat," co-host Kelly Ripa said as she petted Powder's white hair. The show put the cat up a Manhattan's posh Park Meridien, reported

Deborah Wright, a shelter volunteer and current foster owner of the kitty, toted him around Manhattan Wednesday on his media blitz. By the time the two appeared on the local NBC news broadcast at 5 p.m. Powder was clearly tiring of all the attention, his tail snapping back and forth as he lolled on the edge of the anchor desk.

Wright told anchor Sue Simmons that Powder eats a normal amount of cat food. "He's just been a little kind of down in the dumps when he first came [to live with her] but he’s starting to lighten up and get a little more friendly with me," she said.

Wright plans to speak with a veterinarian to get his thyroid checked and put Powder on a diet.

In the meantime, Wright says he needs “an understanding and loving family.” He's scheduled to meet the public at the shelter's pet "adopt-a-thon" at a pet store in Cherry Hill, N.J. on Aug. 17.

The largest tabby on record weighed 46 pounds, 15 ounces. That cat, who lived in Australia, died in the 1980s. The Guinness World Records has since dropped the category, fearing cat owners might harm their animals in an attempt to break the record.

For more information, visit the Camden County Animal Shelter's Web site.