Little Scarlette Tipton must be used to feeling like the odd one out. You see, she was born with a rare form of cancer and had to have her arm amputated when she was just 10 months old.
But now, the 2-year-old amputee has a new friend who understands just what life with a missing limb is like – her new kitten Doc.
No one knows exactly how the tabby cat lost her leg – at just 3 months old, she was found bleeding with one of her front legs dangling just before Christmas.
The kitten’s life was on the line when she was rushed to the San Jacinto Valley Animal Campus in California, USA, where vets operated to amputate her right front leg.
But the little kitten’s struggle made her the perfect pet in the Tipton family’s eyes. They’d been looking for a 3-legged kitten for the past 6 months so Scarlette could grow up with a friend “just like her”.
When Scarlette was born, her left arm was 3 times the size of her right – doctors diagnosed her with Undifferentiated Spindle Cell Sarcoma and had to amputate her arm along with her shoulder, clavicle and scapula to save her life.
“We really wanted to get her an animal that she could kind of relate to, something that she can grow up with and feel like she has a special bond with,” Simone told ABC News.
So on Christmas Eve the family visited the kitten – and in the New Year adopted her.
They’ve named the moggy Doc after Scarlette’s favourite cartoon character Doc McStuffins.
“Doc McStuffins, her favorite little cartoon on TV, and also because both the cat and her have had so much interaction with doctors,” her dad Matt said.