The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Former New Brunswick fat cat turned international celebrity adopted

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FREDERICTON - A frisky New Brunswick feline whose weight loss journey garnered international attention and helped raised thousands of dollars for a local animal shelter has found a new home.

Tiny, a loveable grey house cat with piercing green eyes, was adopted by his foster mother Nancy Garon on Saturday, one year after the astoundingly large feline was found inside a box outside the Fredericton SPCA.

At the time, he weighed 13.7 kilograms. He's now 7.5 kilograms.

LeeAnn Haggerty, the SPCA's education co-ordinator, said Tiny donned one of his signature bow ties for the big day — a custom crystal-studded black velvet piece.

"It was a special day," said Haggerty on Sunday from Fredericton. "It was a nice way for us to celebrate what we've all accomplished over the last year."

Since last January, Tiny has been diligently working to shed the pounds. He was put on a high protein, low carbohydrate meal plan — dubbed the "catkins" diet — of three cans of wet food and a quarter cup of dry food per day. He also exercises for at least 15 minutes.

Tiny was weighed weekly, photos and details of which were posted on a Facebook page called Tiny's Weight Loss Challenge that has nearly 4,800 friends.

His weight loss drew the attention of national and international media — including CNN and People magazine's website — as people across the world tracked his progress.

"I think it was shocking to everybody just how far his story has gone," said Haggerty. "We've received messages from all over the United States, the U.K., Australia — all over the world really."

Haggerty said Tiny will continue to work as an ambassador for the SPCA, raising awareness about pet health and the importance of adoption.

He's a happy, energetic cat that loves chasing laser pointers and being taunted by a feather wand.

"He loves to play," said Haggerty. "As he started to lose the weight, he definitely had more endurance and more energy and could play more."

Although he's part of the feline family, Haggerty said she thinks a lot of people see themselves in Tiny.

"We can all relate to weight issues," said Haggerty, noting the timing of Tiny's arrival at the shelter coincided with the season of new year resolution-making.

"I think we all have something that we can relate to in Tiny's story."

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