Last weekend at the Westchester Cat Show in White Plains, NY, Skeezix and I were excited about attending the award ceremony, in which Prince Chunk, the famously fat foreclosure cat, was going to be crowned Cat of the Year.
Imagine our disappointment when PC couldn’t attend the ceremony due to ill health. He died in his sleep on Sunday. Owner Vince Damiani said that a veterinarian had diagnosed the Prince with heart disease. He was about ten years old.
Prince Chunk became a media darling in 2008 after he was found wandering in New Jersey. His elderly owner had lost her home to foreclosure and felt that it was in his best interest to abandon him and hope for the best (if this is something you’re considering, know that this solution is usually fatal for the cat.) Chunk was taken to the Camden County Animal Shelter, who reported that he weighed 44 pounds, just shy of a world record.
Damiani believes that estimate may have been somewhat exaggerated. He said Prince Chunk weighed 22 pounds when he brought the cat home from the shelter.
Chunk appeared on “Good Morning America,” ”Live with Regis and Kelly,” the “Today Show,” the covers of the New York tabloids and in People Magazine where his was named “Best Animal Story of the Year” by People Magazine. He was featured in over 750,000 national and international newspaper articles and constantly was bombarded with interview from reporters.
Prince Chunk’s plight inspired the Damianis to establish the Prince Chunk Foundation in June of this year, a nonprofit that helps financially distressed pet owners feed and care for their animals. The foundation operates in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York and California.
The foundation’s mission is to prevent animal homelessness by providing temporary assistance to dog and cat owners, including free emergency vet care and pet food.
So although Skeezix and I were disappointed not to have been able to meet Prince Chunk, Skeezix did get photographed with a photo of the Prince, and we talked to the Damiani family about their work to keep people under economic distress from having to give up their pets. Our hearts go out to them during this difficult time.