SEA ISLE CITY - Sprinkles gives new meaning to the term “fat cat.”

The 33-pound tabby is so fat she can’t even roll over. If she did, she probably couldn’t get back up.

“Whatever position she’s in, she’s stuck. She can barely move,” said Stacy Jones Olandt, a volunteer here at the non-profit S.O.S. Sea Isle City Cats.

Sprinkles is so fat, she can’t even properly groom herself. There are parts of her body she simply can’t reach.

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Olandt said when the feline was surrendered after a house foreclosure they had to get a dog crate to move her. They also had to get help.

“We’re a bunch of old ladies. We had to get a young man to get her up the steps,” said Olandt.

But the four-year-old black and white cat, with olive eyes and a pink nose, quickly won over the volunteers who care for the city’s wild and some domestic cats. She is very affectionate.

“She’s sweet, sweet, sweet. I’ve never seen so many people broken-hearted and hopeful at the same time,” said Olandt.

The volunteers are broken-hearted because Sprinkles arrived with a flea infestation, ear mites, a rear-end infection, and grossly overweight. She has the body type for a smaller cat and should weigh about 10 pounds.

“We’ve seen fat cats at 20 to 25 pounds but this is just obscene. Cats, by and large, don’t overfeed themselves. This is similar to a 600 or 700 pound human that should weigh 180 pounds,” said Olandt.

The volunteers are also hopeful because the prognosis is good. They have already addressed the fleas and mites while Sprinkles is being treated with antibiotics. They will slowly shed the weight, about one pound a month, with an extra incentive to get the job done.

“The veterinarian said if she loses the weight he’ll throw in a tummy-tuck,” said Olandt.

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A charity fund has been set up to help pay an abused dog’s medical expenses.

So how did Sprinkles get so fat? The volunteers are not really sure. One of their missions is animal awareness education and they are using the case to remind people over-feeding a pet is a form of abuse. They said the cat was surrendered two days ago to the Cape May County Animal Shelter, who called them up.

“She needed more care than what the shelter could provide,” said Olandt.

The group normally cares for what they call “community cats,” which used to be known as feral cats, by doing trap, neuter and release programs if they can’t be socialized and adopting out ones that can.

They provide food, shelter, and medical care. They run a thrift store called The Crooked Tail here on Landis Avenue and use the proceeds to care for animals.

The prognosis for a full recovery, and hopefully finding a loving home, are good for Sprinkles.

“Many cats live to be 20. She has a good future ahead of her, if she loses weight,” said Olandt.

The group is looking for a responsible owner who will help Sprinkles achieve the “beautiful body to match her “sweet spirit.” Anybody interested can call (609) 972-5887.

35 years with The Press of Atlantic City, the Asbury Park Press and other newspapers.