Chase Conner was acting in an independent film called “Before the Fall” in the mountains of Virginia about a month and a half ago when he stumbled upon something that quickly stole the show from any of the actors.
Conner, 28, and another crew member discovered a malnourished orange kitten wandering alone.
“There were some scenes the director wanted to shoot up in the mountains. I take photos, too, so on the times I wasn’t shooting, I would take pictures with my DSLR,” Conner said of his digital single-lens reflex camera.
“I walked around the corner and one of my crew members was feeding this little ball of fur. We pet him and he could barely stand up. He was nothing but fur and bones.”
Conner knew he couldn’t leave the poor animal that way so he decided to take matters into his own hands, doing what he could to nurture the kitten back to health, while he himself was living in a rustic cabin and in and out of hotel rooms.
“I picked him up and went into town for flea medicine and filled up the sink because it was past the time the vet was open. They were closed, so we filled the sink with the flea medicine and made him some formula,” Conner explained. “He just stayed in this basket in the cabin while we were shooting the film.”
As time passed, the kitten Conner had named “Cheeto” was getting better and regaining his strength.
“I came up with the name Cheeto because when we first found him he was so thin,” Conner said. “When we gave him a bath, you could see when the water pushed down the fur he was skinny and orange. And his head is much larger than his body, so he looked like Chester Cheeto,” the cartoon cheetah mascot.
Because of his work in the independent film business on projects like “Less Lost“, a movie he’s directing, Conner is constantly on the road. He recently stopped into his mother’s home in Port Orange, Fla., and she quickly latched on to the kitten as her own.
“I brought him home and she was like, ‘He’s mine,’” Conner joked.
But his mother was serious, and now a much happier and healthier Cheeto lives with her in Florida.
Conner documented Cheeto’s entire rescue process in photographs, which he posted to Reddit several days ago and quickly went viral.
To see all the photos of Cheeto’s recovery, click here.