RIP, little dude! 15kg cat dies and FB fans from M'sia to Taiwan grieve

In life, he's bigger than his cat-peers.

At 15kg, super-sized kitty “Little Dude” made headlines.

Now in death, the Internet sensation is still drawing eyeballs - through his Facebook memorial page.

Little Dude died in an animal hospital on Saturday, from pneumonia-related complications, said Angela Jackson-Brunning. She had been fostering him at her home in California.

He was 10. Sadly, he never hung on long enough to find new owners.

“I do a lot of fostering,” she said Sunday through tears. “But there was something special about him.”

Little Dude first arrived at WAGS Pet Adoption in Westminster about two weeks ago, when his owners claimed they couldn’t afford pet rent that their landlord enforced. She began fostering him on Thursday.

One look at a picture of the super-size cat, she said, was all that it took to draw her in.

“There was an immediate bond,” she said. “He was such a doll.”

Efforts to get Little Dude back to a healthy weight were underway, including placing him on a diet and feeding him through a tube to make certain his vital organs got essential nutrients.

His girth limited his ability to walk more than a few steps - and his heartbeat was barely audible through his layers of fat.

But Little Dude’s health problems captured caring hearts of thousands.

By Sunday, a Facebook page created for the feline by Jackson-Brunning had earned nearly 2,000 likes. His admirers also donated about US$600 (about S$750) toward his medical expenses, which were growing as he received more and more treatment.

When news of his death reached social media, dozens posted condolences on the Facebook page.

“It’s so amazing that his story touched so many people worldwide,” Jackson-Brunning said. “People as far away as Malaysia, France and Taiwan.”

While heartbroken, Jackson-Brunning said she has no plans to stop fostering animals.

“Even though there are very hard things to deal with, it’s one of the most rewarding things you can do,” she said.

Sources: Orange County Register, Facebook