Chatham County

Fat cat finds forever home in shelter scratch-off

Mr. Handsome had slimmed down to 28.8 pounds by the time he left the Chatham County Animal Shelter.
Mr. Handsome had slimmed down to 28.8 pounds by the time he left the Chatham County Animal Shelter. Chatham County Animal Shelter

Chatham County’s big kitty hit the jackpot and has a new home.

After a week of living large at the Chatham County Animal Shelter, a 31-pound gray tabby was adopted on Friday.

Angela Frazee of Fayetteville won a lottery to adopt the cat known as Mr. Handsome. Since getting the big fella home, Frazee said her nieces, nephews and son came up with a new name for the cat – Meatball.

“He’s such a sweet cat,” Frazee said. “He’s adjusting real good.”

There was so much interest in adopting the cat that the shelter changed its adoption procedure for him. After the staff picked through all the eligible applications, there was a drawing Thursday and Frazee was the winner.

As part of the adoption, Frazee had to sign papers acknowledging the cat’s need for extensive vet care, including exams, blood work and a diet plan.

“Everyone else wanted him because of the cute factor,” Frazee said. “I wanted him to see him get healthy.”

Frazee said she’s been through it before with another big cat she adopted. Spock started out at 21 pounds, but has trimmed down to 11.5 pounds.

Meatball is on his way to weight loss and was down to 28.8 pounds when he left the shelter. Frazee said he already is down another pound. His first trip to the vet with Frazee revealed he was suffering from an upper respiratory infection, which might be affecting his appetite, she said.

Frazee also learned that Meatball is a little older than the 3- to 5-year-old age range they told her at the shelter.

“The vet said he’s closer to eight,” Frazee said.

Frazee plans to create a Facebook page for Meatball, so people can follow his progress.

The shelter’s Facebook post was shared more than 10,000 times by Thursday and had more than 1,400 comments and nearly 2,000 reactions.

For more information on adopting other animals from the Chatham County Animal Shelter, go to

Joe Johnson: 919-419-6889