BeeJay, or Mr. B, the 26-pound chonkster of a cat, has joined the ranks of Philly celebrities.
Morris Animal Refuge in Center City first posted that the domestic short-haired tabby was up for adoption Thursday, after his family could no longer care for him and brought him to the shelter Tuesday.
By Friday afternoon, the “big-boned” 2-year-old received thousands of likes on social media and national attention, while the shelter at 12th and Lombard Streets has gotten more than 1,000 emails asking about him.
Its website — which crashed as a result of his popularity — redirects to the group’s Facebook. Looking to call? Most voicemail inboxes are full, said Emmy Homan, development manager at Morris Animal Refuge.
“We’ve never had so many people interested in one animal,” she said.
While the flood of requests has made the adoption process a little more difficult, it looks like Mr. B’s time at the refuge may run out soon. Staff will comb through those applications to pick a forever family that will be able to handle any health problems that may come with his size.
Homan said she hopes to get him to a new home on Monday — he just needs a thorough checkup, a process slightly complicated by Mr. B’s massive size.
“We’ve had fat cats,” she said. “But he is more than fat.”
Dan Solomon, a social media coordinator who said he first shared the photos of Mr. B, described him as easygoing and laid back — and easy to love.
“Even if he wasn’t an enormous chonker, he’s still a great cat,” he said.
For those unfamiliar with the term, “chonky” is an endearing way to describe something that may be a bit chunky or heavy. The term is often associated with larger cats.
Of course, it’s not Philly’s first rodeo with a lovable chonk.
The region mourned the loss of famously large Prince Chunk, a New Jersey cat who died in 2010 at 17 pounds — about five or six less than when he was adopted two years prior.
And years before — in 1999 — the region learned about a 46-pound raccoon named Vinny who found a home with an Elkins Park family.
We have some of our own comparisons, too. Here are five other things that weigh just about as much as Morris Animal Refuge’s star.
While the attention remains on Mr. B for now, the shelter is hoping other animals can ride his cattails to their own forever homes.
“Mr. B can only go to one home, but we have tons of other animals that are patiently waiting,” Homan said.