August 1, 2008 in Nation/World

Princess Chunky really a prince, vet confirms

At least 20 apply to adopt portly puss
By Karen Langley Philadelphia Inquirer
 
Associated Press photo

Powder, also knows as Princess Chunky, a 44-pound cat found wandering the southern New Jersey community of Voorhees, is making the media rounds. The cat will go up for adoption Saturday.
(Full-size photo)

New Jersey’s feline darling would be better called Prince Chunky, according to a veterinarian who examined the 44-pound stray this morning on “Live with Regis and Kelly.”

But the modified title is unlikely to take hold now that shelter officials know Princess Chunky’s real name is Powder, as “foster mother” and Camden County Animal Shelter volunteer Deborah Wright of Sicklerville, N.J., told the show’s hosts.

Shelter officials received a call from the owner, a senior citizen who lost her home to foreclosure and is now staying with friends. Because of her circumstances, the owner said she was “very sad” she could no longer care for the 44-pound cat, shelter executive director Jennifer Andersch said in a telephone interview Thursday morning.

Powder’s owner, whom Andersch would not name, was able to find a home for the cat’s brother – a big cat who is still “not nearly as chunky as Chunky,” Andersch said.

The cat formerly known as Chunky tipped the scales – literally. Cat scales can only measure to 25 pounds, so shelter workers used a dog scale to determine its weight.

Andersch said the shelter has received hundreds of calls about the cat and at least 20 formal applications to adopt Powder.

The new details of Powder’s past emerged at the start of the cat’s biggest day yet. The fat feline – only two pounds shy of the Guinness world record – will follow its Thursday morning appearance on “Live with Regis and Kelly” with spots on other national TV shows.

“We in the media love a 44-pound cat,” co-host Kelly Ripa said as she petted Powder’s white hair.

It has been quite a catwalk for Powder, found wandering the patio of a Voorhees, N.J., apartment complex Friday and now staying in Manhattan’s posh Le Park Meridien, courtesy of TV producers.

The pussycat’s sex had been a subject of debate. Animal shelter employees named the cat “Captain Chunk” but soon decided it was female. “Princess” was selected as a better courtesy title, and foster mom Wright tweaked the pet’s title so it became known as “Princess Chunky.”

After the owner claimed the cat was male, Andersch decided a vet would need to make the final call.

“Is it possible this cat is so dang fat that even though everyone’s looking at it things are hidden?” she said before the show.

The vet who examined Powder live on national TV said he was confident the cat was male.

The media frenzy may be affecting the white and orange domestic cat’s claim to fame.

“With her not eating because she’s nervous, I bet she’s lost a few ounces,” Wright said before the show in a phone interview. “But she loves the attention.”

Powder goes up for adoption Saturday when the state-required seven day waiting period for owners to contact the shelter ends.


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