A tubby tabby named Titanic, who has become the office favorite among staff members at Sacramento's Animal Care Services, is on a diet. The 33-pound feline has been at the shelter since August. The cat's former owner said he surrendered him because he got two new cats that didn't get along with Titanic.
But those tense days are long gone for the cat, as Titanic has become an integral part of the shelter's office on Front Street.
"At first he was a little shy, used to hide in my office for quite some time, and he's gradually started to come out and now he's so familiar with staff," Donna Wicky from animal care services said.
Although Titanic's girth is endearing, the staff is helping him get healthier by carefully and gradually reducing his food. They estimate he's lost about a pound so far.
However, Wicky said that the change is not a crash diet.
"If he loses too fast, he'll go into renal failure and that will be very detrimental to him," Wicky said.
Veterinarians say some cats don't self-regulate their diet, and that eating can often become the only activity for bored indoor cats.
The current world's record for a fat cat is in dispute, and could be anywhere from 35 to 43 pounds.
Meanwhile, Titanic is helping the staff find a better balance at work by becoming the "office kitty" and the shelter's unofficial mascot.
"He's been very, very beneficial to everyone for our mental health break and everything, he's just fabulous," Wicky said.
Titanic is shy and not very vocal, but one staff member said that despite his weight, he can still jump onto surfaces.
"He's just very playful. He'll jump on your desk and sleep on your feet," Robin Thimlin from animal care services said.
The shelter's staff loves Titanic so much that they really don't want to give him up. However, they have said that if the right family and right circumstance comes along, they might reluctantly let him be adopted.