Thanks to the love and dedication of an animal foster mom, the nearly-dead runt of a litter of kittens has made an incredible transformation.
Meet Stuart Little, a lifeless kitten found in the bushes with his mom and the rest of her litter in Arkansas, in 2013.
The man who discovered the litter scooped them all up and brought them to Fabulous Felines NWA, a cat rescue organization in Bentonville, Arkansas.
At the bottom of the litter was a motionless, emaciated kitten, so frail that rescuers thought he was already dead.
The scraggly little guy was in poor shape — he was extremely dehydrated, with eyes so infected that rescuers worried he might end up blind.
All the kittens were covered in fleas, Fabulous Felines wrote on Facebook, and desperately needed medical attention.
As for the runt, his appearance was so mouselike that rescuers named him Stuart Little.
“Poor Stuart was emaciated and lethargic,” the rescue said. He was severely underweight, but Fabulous Felines wanted to do whatever they could to give the kitten a shot at survival.
Fabulous Felines placed the mother cat and her kittens in the capable hands of volunteer staff member Amanda Rhea to foster.
Rhea took on the job of nourishing the mother cat and her kittens in a safe, clean environment.
But the kittens weren’t out of the woods just yet — the mother cat began to show some troubling behavior.
She stopped eating, Rhea told Love Meow, and stopped nursing her babies.
Rhea decided that the mother cat would do better at Cat Haven Ranch, a cat sanctuary, and made arrangements to relocate her.
Meanwhile, the hungry kittens had to be bottle fed until Rhea could find a surrogate mother to nurse the litter.
Rhea’s hard work paid off, as soon, the entire litter began to thrive.
Even Stuart Little began to grow, with snow-white hair covering his body and bright blue eyes able to see clearly.
Stuart’s littermates were eventually adopted, but Rhea decided she couldn’t part with little Stuart.
“When Stuart’s brothers and sisters starting getting adopted, I realized for the first time how attached I was to the little guy,” Rhea told The Huffington Post.
Stuart is now thriving as a pampered cat in Rhea’s loving home.
Fabulous Felines NWA continues to care for the cat population in their community, encouraging cat owners to spay and neuter their pets.
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