Meow, the 39-pound famous cat died over the weekend, May 5, 2012 due to complications from his obesity. Meow was 2-years old.
Mary Martin, executive director of the Santa Fe Animal Shelter and Humane Society posted on the Shelter’s Facebook page:
I am devastated to share with you that the respiratory distress that Meow was experiencing last week (the reason we did not do his weigh-in) took his life at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 5. The Shelter staff – along with all those who met Meow during his short time with us – mourn his passing.
As many of you are aware, Meow began wheezing last Thursday in his foster home, Dr. Jen began trying to sort out the problem, at first considering the possibility of asthma associated with his weight. She started treatment immediately to ease his breathing and, when Meow didn’t improve, she sought additional help for him from our emergency specialty hospital and an additional private veterinary hospital. Although four different veterinarians worked with Meow, we were unable to stop the progression of what turned out to be pulmonary failure. Meow had been doing so well in his foster home; walking up stairs and seeking affection – that it is so very hard to believe he is gone. We will forever be grateful for the attention Meow’s size brought to pet obesity and to animal shelters across the country. We are especially grateful to all of you who fell in love with this charming cat – as we did – and were so very interested in his progress and success. With gratitude, Mary Martin
The overweight cat was taken to the New Mexico animal shelter when it’s 87-year old owner couldn’t take care of him any longer. The animal shelter put Meow on a diet and started posted all his weigh-ins on a Facebook page. Meow the cat had lost 2 pounds and was doing well when he began having breathing problems Wednesday.
In an effort to raise awareness about animal obesity and find Meow a home, the Santa Fe Animal Shelter took him on the NBC Today Show in April. Meow soon gained national attention.
Veterinarian Jennifer Steketee told Matt Lauer, “Clearly he was not fed a healthy diet, and way too much of it, and lacks a certain amount of willpower. When we first heard Meow wheezing, we attributed it to possible allergies or the fact that he was moving around more in his foster home but treated it with further tests and medications. Many obese people and animals wheeze when they walk, but we didn’t want to assume anything.”