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A woman named Kendra shared an inspirational story about when her parents from Knoxville, Tennessee, chose to take home Sylvester, nicknamed “Little T,” an almost 35-pound 6-year-old shelter cat. Although the owner-surrendered cat couldn’t walk then, Kendra’s parents, who frequently foster animals, decided to do something about it. According to local news, the form owner surrendered the cat
Little T was so big he had his own room at the shelter because no kennel was big enough to hold him. The staff moved the cat on a cart. But then Elmeria Tefferteller, a long-time volunteer, saw him and decided to take him home instead of the litter of kittens she had planned.
The Teffetellers created a harness and began working with Little T through physical therapy. The T stands for Titanic, and he was gigantic when he first arrived at the Blount County Animal Center in Maryville.
Kenne Teffeteller fell in love with the cat and walked him 3-4 times daily. The cat also had all the veterinary care he needed and a diet of 75 grams of special food thrice daily with help from the shelter and Smoky Mountain Animal Care Foundation.
“This cat was his favorite child,” Kendra says.
Thanks to all the effort, Little T lost 18 pounds, down from 34.3 pounds and could walk again. Keep in mind, cats can generally only safely lose about a pound per month to avoid life-threatening issues. So the efforts took many months of daily care.
A Tennessee sports fan, the dad created a cardboard cut-out for the cat to pose with the sports team’s colors.
“He lost 18 pounds. Let that be your New Year’s weight loss inspiration,” Kendra wrote.
The cat also wore a monogrammed striped shirt that read, “Blount County Animal Center Biggest Loser Ranch,” after losing all the weight. The cat wore the shirt appearing on the local news. (see video below)
Videos via TikTok/
Following the weight loss, Little T could finally tackle simple things like going downstairs, previously impossible. He could walk and eventually could run too! Kendra shared a cute video of the cat taking on the brick stairs outside the home (without the harness) to the tune of “Eye of the Tiger.”
“I’m now officially on cat weight loss TT, and it’s the most motivating thing ever,” said one person.“He gave him his life back. Your dad is an angel,” commented another person.
Little T shared several “amazing years” with the family. His purrsonality changed after he lost weight, and he “blossomed,” becoming such a “sweetie,” Elmeria told He lived with other foster animals, and an orange cat brother named Banjo, rescued from a hoarding situation. The family’s grandchildren called Little T “cat brother,” and adored cuddling with him.
Due to the family’s efforts, Little T’s quality of life and lifespan was greatly extended. But unfortunately, he passed away suddenly due to an underlying heart condition. His heart and liver were seriously damaged by the over-feeding prior to his rescue.
During his time with the Teffetellers, Little T appeared with Kendra’s mom Elmeria encouraging others to adopt and foster pets. She explained how Little T couldn’t move when he first arrived at the shelter. His skin was covered with sores. But how his life changed!
“He couldn’t walk. His skin was a disaster,” she said.
Video about Little T by
Thanks to these kind people, the cat spent his final years surrounded by love. Little T’s family has fostered and found homes for over 240 cats and kittens over 10 years, helping the Blount County Animal Center. All of these pets were placed in homes.
Today, sharing his story will continue helping countless other animals and the people who open their homes to them.
“Please consider fostering or adopting and giving a friend a new home,” Kendra wrote.
Little T’s picture stands at the Thompson-Boling Arena.