Prince Chunk had slimmed down to 17 pounds at time of death

Prince Chunk in 2008 with interim caretaker Deborah Wright of Sicklerville. A former Voorhees stray, the celebrated cat was 17 pounds when he died last Sunday from congenital heart disease.
Prince Chunk in 2008 with interim caretaker Deborah Wright of Sicklerville. A former Voorhees stray, the celebrated cat was 17 pounds when he died last Sunday from congenital heart disease.
Posted: November 28, 2010

In the end, which came last week, Prince Chunk had lost a lot of weight, but he still looked like a chunky cat.

In the two years since he was found as a stray in Voorhees after his owner lost her home to foreclosure, Prince Chunk weighed about 17 pounds, about five or six pounds less than when Vince Damiani of Blackwood adopted him.

And far less than the originally reported 44 pounds that made Prince Chunk a national sensation. At first he was known as Princess Chunk because of a sex mix-up. Oh, the embarrassment!

It was determined that the princess was a prince on Live With Regis and Kelly, Damiani recalled. And it is believed that the royal feline was never even close to 44 pounds, he said.

Two years later, Prince Chunk was still a star. He was featured on The Early Show on CBS in October. In June, the Prince Chunk Foundation was created to help people in dire financial trouble feed and care for their pets.

About two weeks ago, Prince Chunk's health began to deteriorate.

"He was breathing a little heavier. Nothing too serious, but it was noticeable," said Damiani, 20, who was selected from among 500 applicants to adopt the cat.

Prince Chunk, believed to be about 10 years old, was taken to a veterinarian. The diagnosis was heart disease that he had had since birth, Damiani said.

He was given medication and was doing well for a few days, but then declined again.

On Sunday, the prince died in his sleep. He was cremated Monday. The announcement was delayed so the family could go through Thanksgiving without being bombarded with media attention, Damiani said.

"Prince Chunk's legacy will continue to live on through the Prince Chunk Foundation," he said.

Memorial donations may be made at www.princechunkfoundation.org/ or mailed to Prince Chunk Foundation Inc., Box 8044, Blackwood, N.J. 08012-1522.


Contact staff writer Robert Moran at 215-854-5983 or bmoran@phillynews.com.

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