2009-11-05 / Island Life

Chester dies at nearly 15

CHESTER CLARK, 1994 - 2009 CHESTER CLARK, 1994 - 2009 Chester, the most famous cat in Port Aransas, died on Monday, Oct. 26.

Chester, who resided at the Connoisseur gift shop, has been featured in newspapers from Texas to New Zealand, was featured on the syndicated television show “Texas Country Reporter,” and a California radio show, all because of his astounding girth.

The fat cat had no shortage of fans.

“All day long, every day, people come in, saying ‘Where’s Chester? Where’s Chester?’ said Melissa Celeski, a store employee. ‘It never stops.’”

It’s no wonder. Chester weighed 32 pounds at his heaviest. And, fortunately, he was friendly.

Some visitors to Port Aransas report that a visit to Chester is their first stop in town every year. There are folks who came to see him year after year, and brought their kids to see him

Store owner Cassandra Clark, a Port Aransas native, found Chester and his siblings abandoned in a flower pot outside her apartment in Irving in 1994. She nursed the litter with a syringe until they were old enough to find homes. She kept Chester, an orange tabby, and his sister, Rat, a calico (also a store resident). She found homes for the others.

Chester and Rat moved from Clark’s residence to the store when it was determined that her infant son, Harrison, now 12, was allergic to the cats.

It was later discovered that Chester was diabetic, and he had been on insulin since about 2003. At the time of his death, Chester had lost several pounds.

He was laid to rest in Port Aransas and memorialized, appropriately enough, with the planting of an orange tree.

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