A 31-pound cat in Nashville must go on a weight-loss program to extend his life.
Buddha was rescued from Metro Animal Control after his previous owner gave him up because of family issues.
Penny Adams a volunteer at The Cat Shoppe on Bransford Avenue, took Buddha in.
"He had cankles for shoulders. You know? I've seen big cats in the 20 pounds, but nothing this size except on the Internet or on television," Adams said.
"If we can help him lose 12 pounds, or a third of his body weight, that's huge."
Buddha's 31 pounds is more than twice the weight of a normal healthy cat. Adams believes he gained the weight by skipping cat food.
"The vet believes he was on people food," she said. "We believe it too because when we were eating our lunch here the other day, he went bonkers wanting our lunch."
And like Garfield from the funny papers, Buddha has a favorite dish. "We know he likes pasta because that's what he wanted when we ate lunch," Adams said.
At the Cat Shoppe, Buddha stays in a round pen until he becomes acclimated to the new surroundings.
After getting an okay from doctors, he'll start a weight loss training program in Williamson County that includes a strict diet, and exercise on a kittie treadmill.
"The vets have given him a clean bill of health. We did extensive blood tests and listened to his heart," said Adams.
Adams and other volunteers are accepting donations to help pay for his medical treatment and hopes that in a year, he'll weigh 19 pounds and be ready for adoption.
"To me, it's neglect to let a cat get this large," said Adams. "Of course everybody likes a good fat cat story, and it's a little comical to see, but in the end it's his health and we want what's best for him."
For more information on Buddha, visit his Facebook page.