Back in the summer of 2008, before we were worrying about the collapse of the financial industry, America was obsessed with a super fat cat named Princess Chunk. The 44-pound cat was found wandering NJ streets and taken in by a shelter and quickly went on a media tour, where it was revealed Chunk was abandoned by a woman whose home was being foreclosed...and that Chunk was a boy. Thus, it is with great sadness that we found out Prince Chunk died at the age of about 10 this past Sunday; a vet said he had heart disease. (Feline obesity is no joke.)
The Damiani family of Blackwood, NJ had been selected from hundreds of applicants to be Chunk's new humans (they contended that Chunk's actual weight was 22 pounds). Vince Damiani, 20, said, "We're all upset. We lost a family member," and added that their other cat, Tito, is "missing him. They were like best buds. They did everything together. We're just trying to keep him occupied." The Damianis also started the Prince Chunk Foundation, a non-profit that "that enables pet owners to keep their pets during times of financial crisis by providing temporary assistance to pet owners throughout New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and California. Providing this aid is critical to achieve a lower animal abandonment rate, and most importantly, a lower euthanasia rate nationally."