When Mike Wilson and Megan Hanneman decided to visit the Humane Society of Western Michigan on Wednesday, they weren’t expecting to leave with a new pet. The couple discussed expanding their family with a kitten, but when they discovered Bronson, a massive, 33-pound, 3-year-old orange cat, it was love at first sight.
Wilson and Hanneman lined up to be interviewed so they could meet Bronson, but they had to go to work before they could sit down with shelter staff. However, they couldn’t stop staring at the giant cat’s photo before leaving. “On the way to work, we couldn’t stop talking about him and started regretting not being with him,” Wilson said.
As the days passed, the couple’s fear that Bronson would be adopted grew, so they rushed back to the shelter as soon as they could. “We started to get the feeling that he was going to be adopted immediately because of how quickly we were attracted to him,” Wilson said. “We went back as soon as they opened the next day and were so happy to see him again!”
Bronson came to the humane society after his elderly owner passed away. The shelter staff were told that he was known as “Fat Kat” and that although he lived in a house with many pets, he was a bit lonely and isolated.
No one is sure how such a small cat gained so much weight. “The staff changed his name after they brought him in, but naming him shows how much they value his obesity,” Wilson said. “Their best guess is that he’s either been overfed with kibble or is being fed leftovers.”
Given Bronson’s size, he has a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes, along with many other health complications. The interviewer warned the pair that Bronson’s eventual adopter would need to help him lose weight at a slow pace through diet and exercise. The kitten’s heavy size also makes it difficult for cats to adequately clean themselves, so they need daily brushing to keep them clean.
When Wilson and Hanneman finally met Bronson in person, shocked at the cat’s level of desire for love, the pair knew they had to bring it home.
“He was rather unkempt and had a lot of hair on his head, mainly because he couldn’t groom himself because of his size,” Wilson said. “I just want to take him home, shower and take care of him.”
At his new home, he loves hanging out with his two feline siblings. In contrast, his companions encouraged Bronson to explore the house and play with the toys scattered throughout each room, and its owners couldn’t be happier to see the shy cat a time step out of your shell.
Although Bronson has yet to lose significant weight, under the care of Wilson and Hanneman, he is on his way to becoming an active cat again. Wilson explains: “His weight loss journey is going very well and we can see a change in his physique as his arms and shoulders have more contour.”
This rainbow toy is amazing!! Over the past few days, Bronson has been extending his playing time more and more. I feel like he’ll have six pack abs in a year.
The couple built wall-mounted furniture designed to help encourage exercise cats in the home, hoping that one day Bronson will be able to enjoy their creations.