Sponge Bob’s family has made the sad announcement that their beloved boy has passed away. The cat gained fame for his notable size and for Animal Haven NYC’s efforts to restore him to a healthy weight and energy level, and to find him a good home.
Bob found that good home with NY residents Courtney and Matt Farrell, who took him home after his last high profile public appearance at a benefit gala for the shelter on June 7.
Bob had to be set free when an unexpected illness rapidly compromised his quality of life. While the condition was not weight related, Bob’s weight made a surgical procedure a hazardous option, so contributed to the decision to let him go.
Bob’s family loved him deeply and are in mourning for their boy. Matt uploaded this beautiful and poignant memorial tribute to Bob last night.
Although Bob retired from the spotlight when he went home from the shelter’s benefit gala, his family set up a blog, No More Sitting Pretty, Kitty, to share his happy home life with readers. Bob’s passing is announced in the post Goodbye, Sweet Boy, which relates the circumstances of his illness in detail and expresses his family’s sadness at unexpectedly having to say their last goodbyes.
In short, Bob had been given a clean bill of health by the shelter and his vet at the time of his adoption, after which is health was been monitored with regular vet visits. About two weeks before his passing, Bob developed sudden coughing fits which were attributed to asthma. The coughing fits were greatly diminished by the introduction of antibiotics and an inhaler, but Bob later developed sudden and severe breathing problems, just as his family returned home from a previously scheduled trip, during which time he was cared for by a licensed cat sitter who made daily in home visits.
The breathing problem that had Bob taking fast and heavy breaths began last Wednesday night, at which time Matt and Courtney consulted by phone with an emergency vet to get them through the night. Bob went to his regular vet on Thursday morning, where his condition was attributed to seasonal asthma compounded by stress over his family’s temporary absence. The vet recommended that Bob stay overnight to be monitored closely and called the family on Friday morning to express concern over his lack of improvement.
X-rays showed a fast growing mass surrounding Bob’s heart and pushing it to the wrong side. The mass was not detected by x-rays made two weeks prior but had quickly grown to a size where Bob was in crisis. The vet counseled the family that were the mass left untreated Bob would likely not live through the weekend. Because of his great weight, Bob could easily die on the table from the anesthesia so neither option offered much hope.
Faced with a nearly hopeless set of choices, Matt and Courtney sadly made the decision to let Bob go and remained with him as he passed, giving him love to the end.
Courtney said in the goodbye post, “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,” and “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. We gave him a family, we gave him room to run around, and we showered him with love all the way to the end.”
For the full story, please go to the link above and read the first hand account shared by Bob’s loving and bereaved family.
For more of our coverage of Bob’s journey from the time Suzi Anders first posted a video of a sweet yet severely overweight cat at the shelter , click HERE.