MECHANICSVILLE, Va. — Patches, the “viral” 40-pound Virginia cat that wound up at Richmond Animal Care and Control, is celebrating another major milestone five months after moving to Mechanicsville.
Kay Ford said the 6-year-old white and gray Domestic Shorthair recently started making trips up the stairs on his own for the first time.
“This is our new normal,” Ford posted Sunday. “He has been up and down and up and down. Unfortunately, he is so stealthy that I have yet to be able to capture his travels on video but that will happen today I feel certain.”
The feline can also now lie comfortably on one stair tread, which is something he appears to be enjoying.
Ford clarified that Patches has been able to “easily go downstairs,” but that the feline had never attempted to go upstairs.
“I believe for him that would be harder… But honestly, he surprises me at every turn! You never know. But for now he is not going up only going down,” Ford wrote earlier this week.
The cat weighed in at 32.07-pounds last Wednesday. That is down roughly eight pounds from the 40.8-pounds he weighed when he was adopted. The animal was actually 42 pounds when he was surrendered to the shelter, according to Ford. So that means Patches has lost a total of 10 pounds over five months.
“After what was perhaps the biggest loss in one week we’ve arrived at perhaps the smallest loss in one week,” Ford wrote in an update Wednesday a.m. “So it kind of evens out. I’m not sure we’ve hit a plateau but we’ve definitely hit a pause this week.”
Patches’ first weight-loss goal is to lose 20 pounds, which Ford acknowledged could take roughly a year.
The average cat, according to WebMD, is 10 pounds, depending on the breed.
Ford called Patches “pure joy” and said that she marvels at how he looks “more and more just like a regular cat even though he is still obese.”
“He is so loving and accepting of people and other animals. It is an honor and a privilege to be the guardian of this special cat,” Ford wrote.
MUST-SEE VIDEO: Watch the footage below to hear Ford get Patches to meow!
Shelter workers described Patches as a “sweet, big boy, who has been neutered, tested and chipped.”
The Mechanicsville woman created a Facebook page, Patches’ Journey, to document his progress. That page now has more than 40,000 followers and 25,000 likes.
Ford told Bill Lohmann with the Richmond Times-Dispatch that when she saw the shelter’s social media post she knew Patches needed help.
“Sometimes you have to set aside thinking about the pros and cons of things and just jump into the deep end of the pool, and that’s exactly what I did. I just knew I wanted to do this,” she said.
Ford posted on Facebook that she has been overwhelmed by the “support, kindness and encouragement” from folks who follow Patches’ Journey.
“Please know how much we enjoy bringing our world to you. The continuation of support, kindness and encouragement humble us and bring us such joy,” Ford wrote. “We are overwhelmed by the number of people who share with us both publicly on the page and privately how much light following Patches’ Journey brings to your lives. The page continues to be so much more than a weight loss journal.”
This content was originally published here.