BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- A 25-pound morbidly obese cat living in Bellingham has reached viral fame for videos showing her disdain for exercise. Now, the animal hospital that took her in is using her newfound fame to raise money for discounted veterinary services.
Videos of Cinderblock, a gray domestic shorthair, captured the attention of Reddit and Twitter users Friday after she was seen using the last of her nine lives to get in shape.
Cinderblock's previous owner couldn't take care of her any longer and had brought the 8-year-old feline to Northshore Veterinary Hospital in Bellingham to be euthanized, medical director and veterinarian Brita Kiffney said. The previous owner was struggling with health issues and caring for her father, who suffers from dementia, Kiffney said.
"I couldn't do it and asked her to relinquish her to me," Kiffney said about Cinderblock. "She agreed and was grateful, as she really didn't want to euthanize Cinder but was overwhelmed with the care of her father. So, she is morbidly obese, due to overfeeding by the father."
At Northshore, Kiffney and other staff members have used an underwater treadmill to help provide physical rehabilitation to Cinderblock. The hospital shared a Facebook video of Cinderblock meowing while lazily using the treadmill on October 19. The video has been seen more than 2.2 million times. It and subsequent videos also found their way to Reddit's front page.
With Cinderblock putting Northshore Veterinary Hospital on the map, the animal hospital has started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the discounted veterinary services it offers to local nonprofits. The nonprofits that partner with Northshore Veterinary include Brigadoon Service Dogs, Whatcom Humane Society, Alternative Humane Society, Old Dog Haven, Project Homeless, and Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Survivors. You can learn more about the fundraiser here.