Some animals are born with disabilities but still deserve love and a chance to thrive. That was the case for Tater Tot, a kitten born with malformed limbs who is now getting the care he needs after an inspiring rescue.
According to a TikTok video, Tater Tot was first discovered by a Newfoundland dog named Bebe while exploring the area around her home. While Bebe often brought home kittens, this one was especially unique and in need of care.
All four of the kitten’s legs were malformed. His new foster mom Ash Houghton told Newsweek that his front legs were “stuck at a downward 90-degree angle at the wrist” and his back legs were “completely curly.”
Houghton is the co-director of Kitty CrusAIDe, a nonprofit animal rescue group based in Utah, who are now caring for Tater Tot. In addition to his malformed legs, the kitten was also born with a cleft palate, which makes it difficult for him to latch onto a bottle, so he had to be tube fed.
But despite the challenges, the rescuers committed to giving this kitten all the best care to give him a chance at life.
“We have a long road ahead of us, but he is a fighter and we are going to do everything we can to help this special guy not only survive, but thrive!” Ash wrote on Instagram.
Tater Tot got his name thanks to a naming contest that served as a fundraiser for his medical expenses. According to updates from the rescue, Tater Tot has received corrective splints on his front legs (he doesn’t appear to like them, but they will hopefully correct the malforming without requiring surgery), and they are waiting until Tater Tot is a bit bigger and stronger until they can come up with a game plan for his other issues.
In the meantime, Tater Tot is in good spirits and has become a major celebrity online, with many people following his inspiring story.
“I’ve always shared my foster kittens online in various cat groups, but people seemed to really connect with this tiny little guy,” Houghton told Newsweek. “I knew he was cute, but I had no idea the world would take such a liking to him. We certainly were not prepared to go viral the way he has!”
“The world just loves an underdog, and this little guy has a lot of things working against him. 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.”
Tater Tot is a very inspiring kitten — we wish him the best in his recovery and hope he continues to thrive! Thank you to everyone who saved him!
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