Mike Wilson and Megan Hanneman didn’t anticipate finding a new pet when they went to visit the Humane Society of West Michigan one day in April.
The couple had been thinking about adding a kitten to their family, but when they saw Bronson, a huge orange cat who was three years old and weighed a staggering 33 pounds, it was love at first sight.
The pair couldn’t help but be captivated by Bronson’s towering figure amid the other felines at the shelter.
“When we first saw him, we were shocked at how big he was,” Wilson told The Dodo. “Neither of us had seen a cat that size before and we thought he was so cute and cuddly, likе a large stuffed animal! We immediately went over to gaze at him from outside his room.”
Wilson and Hanneman waited in line to be questioned so they could meet Bronson, but they were unable to sit down with the shelter worker before they had to leave for work.
But they couldn’t stop staring at the picture of the huge cat they had taken before they departed. Wilson recalled, “We were chatting about him incessantly on the way to work and started regretting not hanging around for him.
The couple’s worry that Bronson might be adорted intensified as the day went on, so they hurried back to the shelter as quickly as they could.
We were connected to him so immediately that we began to think he might be adорted right away, Wilson said.
After the dеаth of his elderly owner, Bronson had been brought to the humane society. He was known as “Fat Kat,” and while he had lived in a home with other pets, the staff at the shelter were told that he was a bit of a loner who preferred to keep to himself.
How such a young cat had put on so much weight was a mystery to everyone.
The staff changed his name once they admitted him, but Wilson said that his original name revealed how seriously they were treating his obesity. Their best hypothesis was that he was either being given excessive amounts of kibble or table leftovers.
At Bronson’s size, he stood an increased risk of cаncеr, heart diseаsе and diabetes, along with many other health complications. The interviewer warned the couple that Bronson’s eventual adорter would need to help him lose weight at a slow pace through diet and exercise. The young cat’s hefty measurements also made it difficult for him to adequately clean himself, so they would need to brush him daily to help keep his backside clean.
When Wilson and Hanneman finally met Bronson in person, they were shocked by how love-hungry the cat was, seemingly desperate for pets and affection. And though their hands were oily after touching his striped orange fur, the couple knew they had to bring him home.
Because of his size, he was unable to properly groom himself, as evidenced by the fact that he was rather untidy and had a lot of dandruff in his hair, according to Wilson. “I only wanted to bring him home, groom him, and take care of him.”
The couple, who build wall-mounted furniture designed to help promote exercise for indoor cats, hope that one day Bronson will be able to enjoy their creations.
“Although we originally wanted a kitten to help us test the furniture ideas with our other two cats, we saw Bronson and kind of forgot why we were there,” Wilson said. “We saw how big he was and thought it would be so fun to work with him to get healthy and then one day get on the furniture.”
Once Bronson has Iоst enough weight to be able to safely take flea and tick medicine, he will join his parents for walks outside. “His life is going to look much different a year from now,” Wilson added.
Everywhere Bronson goes, he attracts attention — not just for his size, but for his sweet, peaceful personality.
“Everybody that meets him can’t believe how big he is and instantly want to pet him,” Wilson added. “When we first brought him to the vet, everyone took turns coming in our room to meet him until there were likе five vets and techs in the room at once. It makes us feel so lucky to have him.”
“Sometimes we’re likе, ‘Hey buddy!’ and go to give him pets and he just grunts and turns around. He’s likе a celebrity.”