The pet world has lost one of its most captivating cats today. According to the (U.K.) Daily Mail, SpongeBob, the New York-based, 33-pound cat has passed away only two months after being adopted.
SpongeBob wobbled into the public eye earlier this year when he was surrendered to an animal rescue. He immediately received attention -- and some criticism -- for his bursting physique, but SpongeBob's roly-poly demeanor quickly softened most naysayers.
The plus-sized pussycat appeared to be on the path to a healthier and slimmer look when he was adopted two months ago. The new owners, Courtney and Matt Farrell, were dedicated to giving the 9-year-old, giant, ginger tabby a long and active life. Both vets and staff at the animal rescue believed it was possible for SpongeBob to drop the necessary weight because he was responding to his diet and received a clean bill of health prior to adoption.
Sadly, these hopes were dashed much too soon. Several weeks ago, a growth was discovered on SpongeBob's heart that was an increasing danger to the feline's health. Doctors decided that it was too risky to perform surgery on the obese cat, due to the high chance of fatal complications.
Left with one of the hardest decision for any pet owner, the Farrells decided to let SpongeBob go rather than have his suffering and discomfort continue. The pair stayed paw-side with Bob until the very end, giving him the love they promised as long as they could.
In a statement released to the Daily Mail, Courtney Farrell said, "This has been one of the hardest things I have ever experienced, and certainly the most difficult thing Matt and I have had to endure as a couple. I'm sure it's evident to all of you that we treated 'Sponge' like he was our first baby. We loved this cat so tremendously and had so many plans for him as part of our family. As profoundly sad as we are, we can only try to focus on how much love we were able to give him during his last couple of months."
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Like the Farrells, we will deeply miss this charming feline that waddled out of our lives much too soon. Our hearts go out to his owners, and we know that the awareness he has raised for pet adoption and pet obesity will not soon be forgotten.
Goodbye, sweet SpongeBob. We will miss you.