A stray, feral kitten born with four malformed limbs struggled to survive in the great outdoors of Salt Lake City until an unexpected hero came to his rescue.
Bebe, a Newfoundland dog, went outside for a daily exploration of her home when she came across the little kitten that couldn’t fend for itself. But Bebe had no intention of hurting this baby. Instead, she brought him home to her owner, who happened to be a volunteer at a local animal rescue shelter.
This may sound like the opening of a beautiful children’s book, but the story of Tater Tot the kitten is real and keeps getting better. Kitty CrusAIDe, the shelter where the kitty is being cared for, shared his origin story that captivated the internet.
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Ash Houghton, co-director of Kitty CrusAIDe, is now Tater Tot’s foster mom and caretaker. She has shared Tater Tot’s story on social media to document his progress.
“This bean was born with some pretty obvious malformations, most noticeably his twisty back legs. His front legs appear to be stuck at a sharp angle, and he was also born with a cleft palate,” she shared on a June 17 Facebook post from the animal rescue. They held a naming contest and asked for donations to help with the kitten’s mounting medical expenses, which would include X-rays and much more.
To overcome the cleft palate, Houghton is tube-feeding Tater Tot. And, as for his tiny, twisted legs, Tater Tot has an amazing doctor looking out for him.
“We are working with an orthopedic specialist and, currently, Tater Tot has in front legs in splints to hopefully correct them without needing surgery,” Houghton told Newsweek.
Houghton told Newsweek she was surprised at how Tater Tot captured audiences’ hearts so quickly, but his spirit is contagious.
“The world just loves an underdog, and this little guy has a lot of things working against him,” Houghton said. “A lot of people have said his fight and zest for life are really inspiring, and I know he has been a tiny inspiration for me.”