After a big day, one little kitten is settling in to his new home.
Two months after being rescued from what officials called one of the "most distressing" abuse cases they had ever dealt with, Stewie met his new family Thursday.
Stewie's brother Loki was allegedly tortured and killed at the hands of the duo's owner Robert Heckmann. Stewie was found while animal law enforcement officers searched Heckmann's home. Other than an untreated congenital defect, which required surgery, Stewie was unharmed.
Since his rescue in late January, Stewie has thrived under the care of the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region (HSPPR), growing into an outgoing, affectionate cat.
"He's constantly wanting attention, constantly wanting to play...he's a real funny cat," Dr. Nicole Putney, a veterinarian, told 11 News.
HSPPR got 16,000 applications after Stewie became eligible for adoption on April 2. They say his new family was randomly selected from the applications.
Thursday was an extra special day for little Kelly Anna Smith, who turned 6 on the same day she received her new kitten.
"It was great timing that we got to adopt him today...it was meant to be," her father Gavin Smith said.
"My wife had put in an application when she heard Stewie was up for adoption, and she's like, 'I'm going to put the application in just to see how it goes,' and she's like, 'Everyone has a decent chance at adopting Stewie.' And here we are today."
Stewie, comfortably settled in mom Sandy Smith's arms, seemed content with his new family from the get-go. Almost as though he sensed that for the first time in his short life, he was on his way to a loving forever home.
HSPPR wants to remind the public that there are many other animals seeking loving families. If you are interested in adoption, be sure to contact your local humane society.