It’s hard to imagine losing a limb–even harder to imagine what it would be like to do it as a 2 year old. Scarlette Tipton of Orange County, California had to have her left arm amputated when she was 10 years old, due to an aggressive and rare form of cancer. Although the amputation saved her life and she is now cancer free, she has a hard road ahead of her learning to live and thrive without the use of her arm. But this Christmas, she got the best gift someone in her situation could ever hope for–a kindred spirit in animal form.
Her parents, Matt and Simone Tipton, were having a hard time coming up with something to help her make the adjustment, until they came up with a perfect idea. Scarlette, like most children, loves animals. And after a search, they happened to stumble across a kitten they instantly knew would be perfect for Scarlette. This kitten had also lost a limb.
In December, two women found Holly, a kitten that had been abandoned and bleeding from a traumatic injury. The women weren’t sure what caused the injury, but the vet who performed the surgery at the San Jacinto Valley Animal Campus said it was possible that she had gotten caught in a car’s fan belt while curling up for warmth on a cold night.
In order to stop the bleeding and save the kitten, Holly’s front leg had to be amputated.
It seemed like a match made in heaven for Scarlette. She and the kitten shared a challenge that few people could understand. The family made the drive to San Jacinto on Christmas Eve to formally adopt Holly, who is now 3 months old.
When Scarlette first saw Holly, she said “Owie,” and pointed to the place where the cat was missing a leg, according to KNBC-TV.
“Yes, an owie. Just like you. But she’s OK — just like you are, too,” Simon Tipton told her.
The family, including Matt and Simone, Scarlette, brother Cayden, posed for a photo at the Riverside County Department of Animal Services, the animal shelter in San Jacinto where they adopted Holly.
“A special-needs, super survivor kitten is getting adopted today by a family that knows all about survival,” Riverside County Animal Services stated.