Surviving in the wild can be a challenge for pets who are accustomed to the luxuries of domestic life. But one gigantic cat became a stray and did not just survive – he was able to maintain his weight at a whopping 20 pounds.
Those actions made Goliath, master stray, something of an internet sensation back in 2007.
So we wonder how he manages to keep on all that weight when nobody was feeding him. “He was sneaking into this woman’s garage eating the dog food,” Barbara Baugnon, marketing communications director for the Oregon Humane Society (OHS), told The Dodo.
She believes that for most of the six months that Goliath had been separated from his owner, he’d been going to town on the food he found.
As clever as the scheme was, it eventually led to him getting caught. He was found stuck in the doggy door he used to reach the dog food.
The homeowner called OHS to help remove him from the door and bring him to the shelter. It was that day that OHS took him in and named him Goliath. That very night, he became a star after a feature on the local evening news.
“It’s not often that we get a cat that heavy,” Baugnon recalled. “He was a good boy. He loved attention. He loved food.”
And people loved Goliath.
“I don’t know why, but it became a sensation over here in Portland,” Baugnon said, before taking a guess at what exactly drew folks to Goliath’s story. “People love fat cats here.” Goliath’s owner saw the story on television that night and instantly recognized his cat. The very next day, he came into OHS with photographic evidence that the cat was indeed his.
“When the owner stepped forward, we found out his name was Hercules,” said Baugnon. They also learned the story behind how Goliath, aka Hercules, had become separated from his home.
Six months prior, the cat’s owner had traveled to Canada for an operation. During that time, Hercules ran away from the pet sitter who was caring for him back at home.
“The only reason why he pulled through was because he loved his cat so much,” Baugnon said of the owner.
Although Hercules’ stay at OHS only lasted one night, he and his owner became regulars.
Eventually these two reunited and, and Goliath did not have to steal food.