Mr. Handsome made waves after he turned up at the Chatham County Animal Shelter in Pittsboro, which shared a photograph of the cat being held by a staff member, his tongue and belly both sticking out. At 31.4 pounds, he was too big for the shelter’s standard cat kennels, so staff let him stay in the break room. He installed himself on a cabinet shelf, and that was where he mostly stayed. To eat, he would waddle to his bowl, lie down and munch away.
When no one came forward to claim the sizeable stray, shelter staff held a drawing. Angela Frazee of Fayetteville was the winner, selected to be Mr. Handsome’s new person.
She, her 15-year-old son Justin and her sister Jeri Whitlow made the trek to Pittsboro to pick up the cat Friday afternoon.
“He is such a sweet cat,” she said. “He needs to lose some weight and get active, and then he’ll be happy.”
He has a significant weight loss journey ahead of him. Shelter staff members suspect the 3- to 5-year-old gray shorthair has an underlying health condition causing his weight gain, and a vet will likely need to get that under control.
Frazee said she’s up for the challenge. Her cat Spock came to her at 21 pounds, but has since dropped to svelte 11.5 pounds.
“He looks so just sad,” Fazee said of her newest charge. “I want to help him get healthy. He deserves to be healthy.”
He has already made a small start. By the time he left the shelter, he was down to 28.8 pounds.
Frazee also plans to create a Facebook page for Mr. Handsome, so people can stay up to date on his progress.
And perhaps it’s more correct to call him the cat formerly known as Mr. Handsome – Frazee said she’ll give him a new name once she gets to know him better.