HOUSTON – "Tiny Tim" is no ordinary cat. In fact, he isn’t really tiny at all—he’s super-sized.
The 35.4-pound feline was picked up by BARC in the 10400 block of Kirkwood before Christmas and taken to the city animal shelter.
So when volunteers with Friends of BARC heard about the colossal kitty, they felt like they had to step in on his behalf.
Tim Hebert, one of those volunteers, got Tiny Tim out of the shelter and into the Southside Place Animal Hospital, where he’s been boarded ever since.
"He’s just so fat," Hebert, who visits Tiny Tim every day at the animal hospital, said. "He’s just huge. I can tell you and send you a picture, but until you see him and pick him up, you have no idea how big a 35-pound cat really is."
Hebert said he put signs all over the area where Tiny Tim was picked up and contacted all of the nearby veterinarians, but as of Tuesday, there was no word on where Tiny Tim might have come from.
"We have not heard back at all – at all – from anyone about this cat," Hebert said. "And he’s a very unique cat, just the hugest one I have ever seen."
Dr. Alice Frei of the Southside Place Animal Hospital said Tiny Tim was not a stray.
"It’s very unusual. This cat should weigh 12 pounds, and it weighs 35," Frei said. "There’s no way a cat in this condition was living on the streets, so this cat had a very loving home."
Volunteers are hoping to locate Tiny Tim’s owners, but if they can’t find them, they’re looking for a special adoptive or foster family.
Frei said that, because Tiny Tim is so obese, he’s going to have to lose weight slowly and will require some medical care.
Frei said Tiny Tim does not have diabetes, and his lab work is "surprisingly good." But because of his weight, he already has arthritis—even though he’s no more than 8 years old – and struggles with some mobility issues.
Still, it’s something Frei thinks they can work on.
"The main thing is, we’re lowering his calories and increasing his activities to see if we can get him to lose weight," Frei said.
So far, it appears to be working. Frei said Tiny Tim has lost half a pound since he arrived at the hospital … but they’ve got a long way to go.
"If he loses weight too quickly, he could go into liver failure, so you have to be extremely careful about how he trims down," Frei said.
Hebert and Frei said they just want a happy ending for the chubby kitty.
"We’re all trying to pool our efforts, resources, ideas and prayers to see if we can save him. He’s just a special cat," Hebert said.
"He’s just as sweet as he can be, never hissed or shown any signs of aggression – he’s just a remarkably sweet cat," Frei said. "This cat received a lot of attention, and somebody really loves this cat. I really hope they show up."
If you have any information on Tiny Tim’s owners, or if you are interested in adopting him, contact Tim Hebert at firstname.lastname@example.org.