Mike Wilson and Megan Hanneman dropped by the Michigan Humane Society just to have a look around. The couple had discussed adopting a kitten, but that was not set in stone.
Love at First Sight
During their visit, they happened upon Bronson, a 3-year-old 33-pound orange cat. They fell in love immediately!
“When we first saw him, we were shocked at how big he was,” Wilson told The Dodo. “Neither of us had seen a cat that size before and we thought he was so cute and cuddly, like a large stuffed animal! We immediately went over to gaze at him from outside his room.”
The couple waited to be interviewed by the shelter so that they could meet with Bronson. However, they ended up having to leave for work.
There is a common practice with shopping: If you are on the fence about an item, leave the store. If you find yourself still thinking about the item after some time, go back and get it!
Well, this was the case with Mike, Megan, and the fat cat, Bronson.
Wilson told The Dodo, “On the way to work, we were talking about him nonstop and started regretting not sticking around for him. We started feeling like he would be adopted in no time because of how quickly we were drawn to him.”
The couple decided to head back to the shelter as soon as they could. They returned the following morning, right as the shelter opened, and lo behold, Bronson was still there!
The shelter told Mike and Megan what they knew of Bronson’s story.
Bronson had come into the shelter after his elderly owner passed away. His name was actually “Fat Kat;” despite this being a very true, descriptive name for him, the shelter quickly changed his name to Bronson. Additionally, the shelter was told that even though Bronson had lived with other pets, he usually kept to himself. However, the shelter staff’s biggest question – his weight – went unanswered. “Their best guess was that he was fed either too much kibble or was being fed table scraps,” Wilson explained to The Dodo.
The shelter wanted to immediately tackle the issue of Bronson’s weight. At 33 pounds, he was at severe risk for cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. The shelter’s interviewer warned Mike and Megan that Bronson’s adopter would need to keep up with diet and exercise to help Bronson lose weight. Additionally, because Bronson could not groom himself, his adopters would need to groom him daily.
Finally, the couple was allowed to meet with the big guy.
“He was quite unkempt and had a lot of dander in his hair, mostly due to him not being able to groom himself because of his size,” Wilson said. “I just wanted to take him home, clean him up and care for him.”
Bronson was – to the couple’s surprise – very affectionate. He sought pets and love from them immediately.
The decision was made. Bronson was coming home with them.
Bronson’s New Home
As expected, Bronson was a little shy in his new home. But he was surprisingly social with his two, new cat siblings. Slowly but surely, he emerged more and more from his shell.
“When we first brought him home, he kind of did his own thing throughout the day and stayed in our bedroom,” Wilson said. “Nowadays, he is waiting for us by the door with our other cats when we get home, he runs out to the kitchen if he hears a ruckus of cans opening and hangs out with the other cats in the living room in the daytime. He is actually a really social kitty.”
On the Horizon: His Own Indoor Playground
Mike and Megan were the perfect couples to adopt Bronson as they build indoor cat furniture aimed at promoting exercise for indoor cats. Although Bronson isn’t quite ready to use the furniture, Mike and Megan are optimistic; they have worked hard to help Bronson with his weight loss.
“His weight loss journey has been going very well and we can already see a change in his shape, where he has a lot more definition in his arms and shoulders,” Wilson explained. “His front arms used to buckle a little when he jumped down from our couch and now he jumps down without a problem.” Wilson goes on to say, “Although we originally wanted a kitten to help us test the furniture ideas with our other two cats, we saw Bronson and kind of forgot why we were there. We saw how big he was and thought it would be so fun to work with him to get healthy and then one day get on the furniture.”
An Instant Celebrity
Bronson’s weight and loving personality attract a lot of attention.
“Everybody that meets him can’t believe how big he is and instantly want to pet him,” Wilson said. “When we first brought him to the vet, everyone took turns coming in our room to meet him until there were like five vets and techs in the room at once. It makes us feel so lucky to have him.”
Mike and Megan are obsessed with their new friend. Even though Bronson sure loves his affection, they believe that he doesn’t quite love HOW MUCH attention he gets from his parents.
“It’s hard not to walk past him and pet him and we probably do that more than he would prefer,” Wilson said. “Sometimes we’re like, ‘Hey buddy!’ and go to give him pets and he just grunts and turns around. He’s like a celebrity.”
Follow Bronson on Instagram for a front row seat during his weight loss journey!