Mike Wilson and Megan Hanneman decided they wanted to expand their family with a new kitten. They dropped by the Humane Society of West Michigan in April in hopes of finding their new pet. They hadn’t expected to leave with a giant cat. The couple spotted Bronson–a giant, 3-year-old tabby cat weighing 33 pounds–it was love at first sight.
“When we first saw him, we were shocked at how big he was,” Wilson told The Dodo. “Neither of us had seen a cat that size before and we thought he was so cute and cuddly, like a large stuffed animal! We immediately went over to gaze at him from outside his room.”
He made quite the impression on the couple. They waited in line to be interviewed to meet Bronson. Unfortunately, they both had to leave for work.
All the way to work Mike and Megan couldn’t stop talking about Bronson.
“On the way to work, we were talking about him nonstop and started regretting not sticking around for him,” Wilson said.
The next day they returned as soon as the shelter opened, for fear that Bronson had already been adopted. “We started feeling like he would be adopted in no time because of how quickly we were drawn to him,” Wilson said. “We returned right when they opened the following day and were so happy to see him again!”
The Real-Life Garfield
Bronson was brought to the Humane Society after his elderly owner passed away. The workers at the shelter are curious as to how he gained so much weight. Their best guess was he had been given too much kibble or fed table scraps. He’d come to them with the name “Fat Kat,” but because of his obesity issue, the Shelter workers changed his name to Bronson.
Because of his weight issue, Bronson was at risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, just to name a few. During the adoption interview, the couple was warned that Bronson’s new adopters would need to help him lose weight. It would be a slow process, but with a balanced diet and exercise, the couple was sure they could help Bronson become a “Fit Kat” in no time.
Life of a Giant Cat Is No Easy Feat
The couple finally got to meet Bronson only to discover that he wanted nothing but to be loved. Their hands came away oily from petting his stripped orange fur; it was then they knew they had to bring him home.
“He was quite unkempt and had a lot of dander in his hair, mostly due to him not being able to groom himself because of his size,” Wilson said. “I just wanted to take him home, clean him up and care for him.”
Ok this is Bronson’s first and possibly last bath he’s going to have. He had litter tangled in his back leg fur and we wanted to get him nice and clean. We went with 102 degree water in the tub. He hated it to the point where Megan decided not to set him directly in the water. He scored a 4 out of 10. Any suggestions for a better method? #catbath
Though he was a loner with his previous owner, he is much more social with his new cat siblings. His new companions encourage him to explore the house with them. They even encourage him to play with the toys littered around the house. Since then, he has come out of his shell little by little.
A Weight Loss Journey Begins
“When we first brought him home, he kind of did his own thing throughout the day and stayed in our bedroom,” Wilson said. “Nowadays, he is waiting for us by the door with our other cats when we get home; he runs out to the kitchen if he hears a ruckus of cans opening and hangs out with the other cats in the living room in the daytime. He is actually a really social kitty.”
Though they haven’t seen much change in his weight loss yet, the couple has mentioned his shape is changing.
“His front arms used to buckle a little when he jumped down from our couch, and now he jumps down without a problem.”
He even plays longer with his favorite toys.
This rainbow toy has been amazing!! Over the last couple days Bronson’s been lasting longer and longer during play time. I feel like he’s going to have a six pack in a year. 🏋️♂️🤼♀️🥊❤️ #rainbowcatdancer #fiveminutefitness⚡👟⏰💪 #healthylifestyle #weightlossjourney #weightlosstransformation #weightloss #sixpack #bufftabby
The couple builds wall-mounted furniture for cats and had hoped a new kitten would help test their new designs. They help promote exercise for indoor cats and hope that one day Bronson can enjoy them.
“Although we originally wanted a kitten to help us test the furniture ideas with our other two cats, we saw Bronson and kind of forgot why we were there,” Wilson said. “We saw how big he was and thought it would be so fun to work with him to get healthy and then one day get on the furniture.”
Right now, it looks as if Bronson will be an indoor cat for a little longer. Once Bronson has lost enough weight to take flea and tick medication, he will be able to enjoy the great outdoors. “His life is going to look much different a year from now,” Wilson added.
Nothing like some nice cat grass. 🌱🐈 Now it looks like I sped this up, but I assure you the video is regular speed. . . . #weightloss #weightwatchers #weightlosstransformation #weightlossjourney #weightlossmotivation #getbronsonskinny #gobronsongo #catstagram #cats_of_world #catsofinstagram #cats_of_instagram #gato_cats #cat_features #catstagramcat #excellent_cats #bestmeow #instagram #bestcats_oftheworld #sweetcatclub #catsofworld
Giant Cat Gains Attention
Whenever people see Bronson, they can’t help but want to pet and cuddle him. Even his owners can’t help but pet him whenever they see him.
“Everybody that meets him can’t believe how big he is and instantly want to pet him,” Wilson added. “When we first brought him to the vet, everyone took turns coming in our room to meet him until there were like five vets and techs in the room at once. It makes us feel so lucky to have him.”
Who knows what Bronson will look like in a year. For now, we can enjoy his journey through Instagram with cute pictures and crazy videos. Bronson, the giant cat, will soon be a “Fit Kat” and the world will still love him.
Featured Image via screen capture from the website The Dodo