Prince Chunk, a white tabby who came to prominence two years ago for his heft, died in his sleep Sunday, according to the Associated Press. Vince Damiani of Blackwood, N.J., and his family adopted the chubby kitty. Damiani said a veterinarian had diagnosed the cat with heart disease.
Prince Chunk rose to stardom after the Camden County Shelter, which took him in, in 2008, claimed he weighed 44 pounds – just short of a world record. After hitting the morning talk-show circuit, the Damianis were chosen out of 500 seeking to adopt the rotund kitty. There was a bit of controversy, with Damiani claiming that the cat weighed only 22 pounds when he brought him home from the shelter.
The family later established the Prince Chunk Foundation, a nonprofit aimed at providing temporary care to pet owners in financial distress.