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It was kitten season in Louisiana when rescuer Heather, near New Orleans, took in her 100th foster kitten, Steve-O or Stevie. When he arrived at a shelter, the orange kitten was in horrible condition, and rescuers from the Tomato Foster Club said it would be a miracle if the malnourished kittens survived.

Steve-O was a single orphaned kitten taken in by a nursing mother cat with the rest of her litter. All were in bad shape, but then Heather took all ten in to care for them. However, she immediately fell in love with the crusty orange kitten, giving him a warm bath and cleaning his wounds. She chose his name inspired by a Nashville rescuer and her cat Stevie, who she named her rescue after.

“This sweet boy has me absolutely wrapped around his crusty stinky little paw,” she said.

Stevie gets a bath

At first, Stevie looked like a mess, but Heather brought him back to life.

“This guy is an absolute mess, but that doesn’t stop him from leaning into scritches and purring the whole time I’m working on him. He’s getting fluids four times daily, antibiotics, cream on all his sores, and I’m slowly cleaning the ‘mystery grime’ off of his crusty emaciated little body.”

Stevie shortly after rescue looking very shabby

Despite his poor health, the kitten quickly recovered, with a big appetite. He rapidly gained weight in a few days.

“Steve is doing GREAT. He’s been grooming himself, purring while I clean him up, chowing down on Tiki Pets, and just being an absolute ham. He’s gone from 555 grams to 780 since I picked him up on Tuesday!” Heather shared.

Weighing foster kitten, ginger kitten, Heather, Tomato Foster Club

Steve-O Gets a Big Tummy

Having been malnourished for weeks, the kitten soon developed a big full tummy. Thanks to the rescuers, he looked like a different cat, healthy, loving, and playful.

“Stevie is doing so ridiculously well. He is a sweet, handsome, playful, chunky, *mostly* clean, much less crusty, ringworm free, healthy, happy boy.”

Big tummy on ginger kitten in foster care, Louisiana, Heather

Heather shared how they found Stevie, and it was tragic – a reminder of how difficult life is for kittens on the streets.

“Steve had the odds stacked against him, but because he had all the right people fighting in his corner, he is here today. He was found outside, unable to move, in a puddle of his own urine, with diarrhea caked to his backside, sick, emaciated, and being picked on by a group of older kitties. I am so incredibly proud of him and all of the people who fought for him.”

Stevie licks his tongue

From now on, this kitty would have everything he needed, living a life of luxury with his fellow fosters.

“Stevie takes lounging V seriously 😍🧡”

Stevie lounging on his belly

This kitten was full and content and had not a care in the world.

Steve-O foster kitten lounging on the sofa, Louisiana, New Orleans

In just three weeks, he was a new cat. Nobody would suspect he had nearly died just days before.

“He’s come so far in just a little over 3 weeks. I am so proud of us Steve-O. I can’t wait to watch you live the life you truly deserve. 🧡”

Stevie all grown up, Steve-O

Unlike the other kittens, Steve-O bonded more with the dogs in the home.

“Not sure I’d personally choose to keep my face that close to the danger zone 🥴.”

Steve-O with the dog

100th Foster Kitten Is Home Forever

Steve-O was very special to his foster mom Heather; by late August, she had an announcement. As her 100th foster kitten since she started, Stevie would also be staying with her forever. He would be her first so-called “foster fail” in all that time.

“Stephen, Steve-O, Stevie boi, Steebun. Steve is the hundredth kitten I’ve fostered (I think. I tried so hard to keep track of all of them, but my time at the shelter is still a little blurry 🙃)”

Grown up Stevie the foster kitten, Tomato Foster Club, Heather, Louisiana

Although “goodbye is the goal” for foster providers, this time was the exception to the rule.

“So I guess it was only a matter of time before I failed, right? I preach allll the time about how goodbye is the goal of fostering and that if you are going to adopt a kitten, you really should adopt two. Well, sometimes things just have a funny way of working out.”

Heather and Stevie

‘He Makes Me So Happy’

There was such a special bond with the kitten as she nurtured him back to full health. 

“Y’all. The way this cat looks at me ought to be illegal. Ugh he makes me so happy 😭🧡”

After Steve-O was neutered, Heather made it official and adopted him.

“The first time he looked up at me with the slightest light in his eye I fell absolutely in love. I poured so much energy and love into bringing this guy back to life,” she said.

“Happy gotcha day, Stevie. Welcome home 🧡😘.”

Heather, Kitten Foster with Steve-O on his adoption day

You can follow Heather and Steve-O on Instagram, as well as the Tomato Foster Club.

 

 

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