Does an obese pussy-cat count as a special needs pet? Definitely.
Guiding a cat to a healthy weight is extremely important! Unfortunately, it's a difficult task. Cats can spend up to 20 hours a day sleeping and we all know how much they love to demand, beg, and harass us for more food with the persistence of an entire colony.
Do you have the determination and passion to help a fatty-fat cat become his best healthy self? I believe in you, and I think you'll want to learn more about Wilfred.
Wilfred is known to be a sweet, affectionate, and friendly cat. He's also quite the mega-chonk, clocking in at a whopping 28 pounds. At 28 pounds, that classifies sweet Willy Wilfred as morbidly obese.
Wilfred, the "Heavy Heartthrob" was surrendered to the Lost Dog & Cat Rescue of Virginia at 8 years-old.
While most fat cats have an over-eating problem, Wilfred is of a different variety, a lesser known and lesser discussed sort. Wilfred's foster parent, Jen, says that his weight issues have more to do with his metabolism and preexisting conditions.
In an interview with the DCist, Wilfred's foster mom sings his praises:
I mean, he’s just absolutely adorable. He’s very dramatic, and when he wants something, he’ll roll over and just squeak. And you’re basically like, ‘Alright, Wilford, I’ll give you another tummy rub.'
Jen and her partner Ian regularly care for cats and kittens in need of foster families with their organization Playschool for Wayward Kittens, known on Instagram as pokeypotpie. There, to their 137k+ followers... they are promoting cats in need of their forever home and highlighting Wilfred's weight-loss journey.
As long as you pet him and scratch his neck and back while you’re soaping him up, he’s totally content. He’ll just sit there and be like, ‘Fine, but could you get my right shoulder now?
On Instagram, Jen writes:
Wilford has made great strides (literally and metaphorically) over the past week. He’s walking around more, playing more, and acting much more self-assured around our resident cats. I’m so proud of him!
However, there's a fine line between glorifying an obese cat and celebrating his journey and some Instagram users see the line as blurred. Jen often has include disclaimers on her Wilfred posts like this one: "Yes, Wilford is morbidly obese. No, it’s not ok. He is a foster and he is being treated for his obesity as well as other issues. He is under veterinary supervision."
In an interview with People, she said:
"While it’s easy to jump to conclusions about what someone may have done wrong for him, I encourage people to look at the situation with empathy. Wilford is amazing, and while he definitely requires specialized care, I can’t imagine it was easy for his family to let him go. Rather than focus on how he got like this, I like to focus on the fact that his people asked for help when they needed it and that he’s now on a path towards a healthier life."
On Instagram, Jen writes:
Wilford absolutely loves to play- but he only feels comfortable doing so while safely ensconced beneath the dining room table. (Kind of like preferring to work out at home instead of at the gym!)
Jen also told People:
Wilford is incredibly affectionate and loves being doted on by humans. He’s used to be being pet and was clearly very spoiled
She also said:
He likes having a routine and gets a little nervous when we stray from that. For instance, he has his own space, and is very comfortable and confident there, but when we challenge him to come out of that environment, he goes full drama. He’ll roll onto his back, whine, paw at the door to his room, and look up at you like ‘how could you possibly be so cruel!!!!’ It’s adorable, hilarious, and endearing.
In fact, Jen says that Wilfred has quite the... "flair for the dramatic." (Typical cat behavior, sure, makes Wilfred that much more lovable? Definitely.)
According to Jen's interview with the DCist, Wilfred's weight loss journey includes a combination of "veterinarian-supervised calorie reduction and burning." He's also exercising, his favorite being "upper-ab crunches, motivated by Jen waving a toy at him while he lays belly up."
Wilfred is a sweetheart, we really look forward to hearing an update soon that he's found his forever home and is healthy and happy at a more reasonable weight for a cat. We'll find out by keeping tabs on Jen's Instagram, and you can too!
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