Snowball the giant cat-Fiction!

Snowball-the 87 pound cat from Chalk River, Canada-Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:  
This eRumor is accompanied by a picture of a man holding an enormous cat.  The story says it belongs to Rodger Degagne, a former worker at a nuclear research facility near Ottawa Canada.  He found two cats years earlier that had been hanging around some old research labs, brought them home, and among their offspring was a white cat the family fell in love with and named Snowball.  Snowball snowballed as he grew older and ended up being a pet that weighs nearly 90 pounds.
The Truth: 
Nobody has revealed  where the elaborate Chalk River story originated, but the picture of the alleged 87 pound cat is a hoax. has been in contact with Cordell Hauglie, who is the person who created the picture using Adobe Photoshop.  He says it’s actually a picture of his pet cat named Jumper and that he created it as something amusing to send to his daughter. That was a couple of years ago. At first, the picture alone started circulating on the Internet.   Somewhere along the way, it picked up the “Snowball” tale, but Hauglie has no idea where.  Ever since the eRumor started circulating on the Internet, the folks in the Chalk River area have been getting questions about the cat, but, of course, none of the locals has ever had first-hand knowledge of it.   The AECL (Atomic Energy of Canada, Limited) facility says no one by the name of Rodger Degagne ever worked there and that their labs are still operating, not merely remnants from the 50’s.  There is a gentleman in the area with a similar name, Roger DeGagne, but he says he knows nothing of the Snowball story.

There are problems with the picture that made many people (including believe it was a fake.  We, and others, thought the cat did not look like it was being held, but Hauglie says 20-pound Jumper was being held in the original picture by his son Jason.  It’s actually Jason’s hand that is seen under the cat and, knowing that, it’s obvious that the hand was enlarged with the rest of the picture of the cat and looks out of proportion.  Hauglie says one of the theories floating around about the picture is that he is a midget holding a normal-sized cat in a small house, which is not the case.  Another problem was that if the man in the picture were really holding a cat that weighs nearly 90 pounds, he would not be doing it with such little apparent effort.

Updated 7/23/01