The orange butterball weighs in at 35 pounds and was surrendered to the SPCA in North Carolina’s Wake County this week after his former owner died.
Although the shelter says some people were initially outraged that a person would let the ginger tabby grow to such elephantine proportions, it turns out there’s more to the story: Bazooka’s owner was inflicted with dementia and, never sure if he’d fed the amiable cat, he just kept feeding and feeding — and feeding — Bazooka, who has apparently never met a cup of kibble or a can of tuna he won’t happily scarf down.
We wouldn’t be surprised if there was some insistent meowing prompting his late human to keep refilling those bowls.
“[Bazooka’s owner] thought he was doing the best thing for his cat by feeding him,” the SPCA’s Darci VanderSlik told North Carolina’s News-Observer. “We need to look on this with a compassionate view. He was loved.”
It turns out Bazooka is a loving and chill dude as well.
“He wants to be around people,” said Michelle Barry, the big guy’s foster mom. “He’s happiest lying right next to you. And he’s more active than I expected him to be.”
He’s in for quite an adjustment period, going from a life of on-demand meals to a strictly-regulated diet designed to get him down to a healthy weight. As any cat servant knows, there’ll be lots of agitated meowing in his future.
The ‘Zookster has already been adopted and will soon move into his forever home after the shelter provides some basic veterinary care and draws up a weight loss plan for him. Working with his new human, staff at the SPCA want to get Bazooka down to 20 pounds or so, which they feel is appropriate for his large frame.
They say they’re just glad to help.
“We don’t know a lot of the back stories of the animals we get, but we try not to judge people or make people feel bad about the circumstances that led to their surrender,” VanderSlik said. “We’re really lucky to have the resources to take him in and help him get a home he deserves.”
Two weeks after a sickly stray named Joy was rescued off the streets, someone stole the still-ailing animal from the local Humane Society.
Thanks to her resemblance to the Internet-breaking Star Wars character, Joy and her story went viral, with kind donors opening up their wallets to help pay for the kitty’s veterinary bills. Per New York’s ABC affiliate:
A North Carolina woman found Joy with a large neck wound and an upper respiratory tract infection in mid-December. The woman asked Humane Society of Rowan County for help, and one of the non-profit’s veterinarians started treating Joy for her injuries. In the meantime, Joy captured the hearts of internet users for her resemblance to “The Child,” the breakout star from the “Star Wars: The Mandalorian” series.
In six days, Facebook users donated over $1,250 to help Humane Society of Rowan County pay for Joy’s medical bills.
But the story didn’t just attract the attention of the kind-hearted, and a few days ago someone made off with the viral feline after claiming Joy was their long-lost pet, according to the Humane Society of Rowan County.
Making matters worse, Joy wasn’t ready for her forever home yet, and was supposed to remain under veterinary care and supervision while the Humane Society took applications from potential adopters.
It is with heavy hearts that we announce that Joy is no longer in our care. Joy was released without our knowledge or consent to a person claiming ownership.
It is likely that HSRC will still be responsible for Joy’s vet bills.
We wish we could provide more details but are unable to at this time. We pray that Joy, still with unhealed wounds and not fully recovered, will be given proper medical care and make a full recovery.
The green-eyed silver tabby gave Bloomington, Ind., police dispatcher Matt Smith a big hug when he visited the city’s Animal Care and Control department to help photograph an adoption drive this week.
Nevada is five years old, just like Buddy, and she looks like she could be his sister. If you’re in Indiana and you’re looking to adopt a cat, check out the shelter’s Facebook page. Her adoption fee has been reduced to $20 during the drive.
Here’s hoping little Nevada finds a great human and a comfy home.
Barsik the cat made headlines about five months ago when he was surrendered to a Manhattan animal shelter at a whopping 41 pounds.
The five-year-old was kept in the shelter’s office because he couldn’t comfortably fit into a standard cat cage, and a regular carrier couldn’t contain him either so he was carted in a stroller, according to the New York Post.
To add insult to injury, when staffers at the shelter wheeled Barsik inside, an amused visitor dug out her cell phone, laughed as she snapped a few photos and asked: “Did he eat another cat?”
Barsik has come a long way since that depressing day.
The big guy has been in the foster care of Angelique Iuzzolino of New York’s Anjellicle Cats, and he’s been steadily dropping weight.
Barsik weighs 34.9 33.3 pounds, according to Iuzzolino, who has been posting updates on Barsik’s Instagram. He’s still extra chonk, but he’s no longer in danger of matching the 46-pound Guinness record for a cat. Most importantly, he’s making progress.
He certainly looks a lot happier than he did when he was abandoned by his former people:
Barsik will be up for adoption, but if you’re interested in the big guy you’ll have to wait. He’s got a few more pounds to lose before he goes to his forever home.
Earlier this week New York became the first state in the US to ban cat declawing, which is a major victory not only for the many people who have been pushing for a ban for years, but especially for the potentially millions of cats who won’t be mutilated for the sake of someone’s couch or drapes.
It’s a time to celebrate, revel in a rare legislative victory for animal welfare, and look ahead toward similar proposals in other states. If more states follow New York, it could pave the way to a national ban.
Innocent, sentient creatures won’t be harmed as they have been for a long time. What could be better than that?
Here come the cat-haters
The thing is, legislation like this brings out the crazies and lots people who think protecting the innocent is a zero-sum game. In their world, helping animals and helping humans are mutually exclusive things instead of two goals that should be part of any coherent moral belief system.
Just because people are suffering in some parts of the world doesn’t mean we can’t help animals, just as helping animals doesn’t preclude us from helping people.
Declawing bans don’t take resources away from starving children in Somalia or America’s urban poor. Compassion for animals doesn’t somehow detract for compassion for people. In fact, all the research points to the opposite: That the way a person treats animals is a strong indicator of how they treat other human beings.
Animal abuse and violence crime
That’s why there’s a link between animal abuse and violent crime against people. Animal abusers are five times more likely to commit violence against fellow humans, research shows. Criminologists have been aware of this link for many years, and smart investigators know to keep tabs on animal abusers because they often “graduate” to hurting humans.
That was the case with Luka Magnotta, a notorious animal abuser who, among other crimes, filmed himself feeding a young kitten to a python. Magnotta went on to kill a man with an ice pick, a crime that could have been prevented had detectives in Canada taken Magnotta’s animal abuse more seriously. Animal life has intrinsic value, and Magnotta should have been imprisoned for killing the kitten.
Cats scratch. Get over it.
Then there are the declawing advocates, the people who inexplicably argue that it’s okay to brutally mutilate living, feeling creatures in order to protect inanimate objects like couches and drapes.
One thing should be absolutely clear to anyone looking to adopt a cat: Scratching is completely natural behavior, and it’s your responsibility as caretaker to make sure you provide adequate scratching posts, as well as redirect your cat to those posts and vertical scratchers.
If you can’t or won’t accept that responsibility, you should not adopt a cat.
Of course there are people who will insist declawing has no negative effects on cats. They’re wrong. That’s not a matter of opinion, it’s fact: A 2017 study, the most comprehensive of its kind, detailed a long list of negative effects that result from declawing.
Declawing is NOT a manicure
Declawing, which is the amputation of a cat’s feet up to the first knuckle — and not “kitty manicure” — causes lifelong pain in cats. Because cats are digitigrade animals, meaning they walk with their weight on their toes, the act of walking itself becomes painful. That leads to cats altering their gaits to limit the pain, which in turn leads to poor posture, which ultimately leads to early-onset arthritis and other physical problems, according to the 2017 study in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery.
It’s a cascade of physical problems that leads to misery.
Because cats are famously stoic, doing everything they can not to show pain — they are prey animals as well as predators, after all — it may not be obvious, but declawing hurts them. A lot.
While people may think they’re solving a problem by declawing their cats, they’re creating new ones. Declawed cats are several times more likely to bite because they no longer have their claws for defense. They’re five times more likely to stop using the litter box, because the simple act of standing on litter granules is painful on their raw toe stumps. They’re more likely to be aggressive and ill-tempered.
Insult to injury
Those are all prime reasons why people surrender cats to shelters, causing another type of cascade: One in which a negligent owner has his or her cats declawed, then surrenders the cats because they’re acting out. Declawed cats are twice as likely to be surrendered to shelters as cats who are not declawed.
That directly contradicts claims by proponents of declawing, who say declawed cats are more likely to be adopted. In fact, declawed cats are more likely to end up without homes.
It’s 2019. The information is out there for anyone to look up, and ignorance is no longer an excuse. Declawing is wrong.
Here’s to hoping New York is just the first of many states to ban the barbaric practice.
Chronicling the adventures of Buddy the Cat and his various criminal enterprises.