Meow The 39-Pound Cat Dies

We are sad to report that Meow, the pudgy but adorable cat who charmed TODAY talent and viewers alike when he visited the show April 23, died over the weekend after developing unexpected respiratory difficulties.

“We are devastated,” said Mary Martin, executive director of the Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society, which was caring for the obese orange-and-white tabby. “We were in a race against time to get the weight off Meow before he developed complications from his obesity, and we lost.”

Ben Swan / Santa Fe Animal Shelter via AP

Meow tipped the scales at over 39 pounds when she came to the Santa Fe Animal Shelter in Santa Fe, N.M..

“When we first heard Meow wheezing, we attributed it to possible allergies or the fact that he was moving around more in his foster home,” said Jennifer Steketee, the veterinarian who accompanied Meow to TODAY last month. But when the 2-year-old cat’s symptoms worsened, he was taken to an emergency veterinary hospital. Sadly, the best efforts of several specialists were in vain.

“His extreme obesity may have set off a string of events that ultimately ended his life,” Steketee said.

Read more on NBC’s Today Show.

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