Buddha exercises on an underwater treadmill at Animalia veterinary clinic in Franklin. (Shelley Mays / The Tennessean)
NASHVILLE — Buddha, Nashville’s famous fat cat that became a media sensation when his story went viral across the globe from Australia to Vietnam to England, died Thursday night.
“Buddha was diagnosed as having a congenital heart defect. The way it was explained to us is that his heart walls were thickened. The weight certainly put added stress on his heart,” said Penny Adams, a volunteer with the Cat Shoppe/Dog Store in Nashville's Berry Hill community, a retail store that manages the nonprofit Cat Shoppe Rescue Inc.
The gray and white domestic shorthair was about 6 years old.
After working out on an underwater treadmill and watching his treat intake, Buddha’s quest to lose weight inspired humans to drop a few pounds.