When shelter staff first met Bazooka Joe, they couldn’t believe their eyes.
That’s because he’s no ordinary Maine coon cat, and weighing in at a whopping 36 pounds, they’d never seen anything like him before.
The gentle giant landed in the North Carolina shelter system when his former owner, an elderly man, passed away. On his arrival, the feline dirty and matted, and his body was so big he couldn’t even fit into a normal cat carrier. In fact, when he tried to sneak into one, he managed to get himself stuck.
Watch the moment Bazooka met his new owner for the first time here:
Darci VanderSlik, director of communications for the SPCA of Wake County, told The Dodo:
It’s jaw-dropping how large he is — and how long he is, too.
He’s 34 inches long, so he’s a very square cat.
Bazooka Joe’s girth is so big, he struggled to get all the way around to groom himself, meaning he wasn’t able to groom himself properly.
He’s struggling to groom himself properly, he’s struggling to play with toys, to do what normal cats do.
But he’s still very agile for the state that he’s in — he’ll jump up on the bed and climb up the stairs.
The staff explained that although Bazooka Joe has the outward appearance of an older cat, he’s actually just five years old, meaning he’s got the personality of a kitten in an oversized body.
But, they added, despite his potentially intimidating appearance, he couldn’t be any sweeter:
This cat is the coolest cat ever. He’s so mellow and chill. He’s just happy all the time.
Robin Anderson was having a browse on Facebook when she came across Bazooka’s beautiful face. After losing her own Maine coon in August, she felt like she had finally found a cat big enough to fill the hole left behind by her beloved feline.
Anderson immediately got in touch, desperately hoping to hear Bazooka hadn’t already been adopted. Fortunately for her, when the shelter heard her own personal story, they knew she was the perfect human for this furry companion.
She herself had lost over 120 pounds and now runs marathons.
So, she was super excited to step in and help him and document his weight loss journey. She even wants to harness train him so he can get some cardio.
Here’s to wishing Bazooka Joe and Robin all the happiness in their new journey together.