A Special Bond Began When a Toddler Amputee Adopted a Tripod Cat

A couple searched for a pet cat their daughter could relate to and found it in sweet tripod kitten Holly.

While many 2-year-olds are planning tea parties and playdates with their friends, young Scarlette Tipton of Orange County, Calif., has spent much of her life in and out of hospitals.

Born with Undifferentiated Spindle Cell Sarcoma, a rare form of cancer, Scarlette was born with an abnormally large left arm that required amputation of the shoulder, clavicle, arm, and scapula at just 10-months-old.

The surgery was a success, leaving Scarlette cancer-free, and her parents, Matt and Simone Tipton, on a hunt for a family pet who could aid Scarlette on her journey and recovery – an animal who had also endured an amputation.

“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 Tipton told ABC7.

The Tipton’s prayers were answered when they heard the story of Holly.

On December 17, a 3-month-old kitten dubbed Holly was found with a horrific injury by two women, Kelley Gonzalez and Edith Rios, in Perris, Calif. Her arm dangling and covered in blood, Gonzalez and Rios wrapped Holly in towels, bringing her to San Jacinto Valley Animal Campus in San Jacinto, Calif., for help, where veterinarians made the decision to perform an emergency amputation.

Though animal service workers are unsure as to how Holly sustained her life-changing injury, it is believed she was hit by a car or trapped in the fan belt of a car engine while in search of warmth.

Holly’s story quickly circulated through news outlets, where the Tipton’s fell in love with the kitten, making the drive from Orange County to Riverside, Calif., on Dec. 23, with Scarlette and older son in tow, to adopt her.

Though still recovering from her amputation, Holly was unable to accompany the family home in time for Christmas; but on Wednesday, New Year’s Eve, just in time for the New Year, the family officially adopted the brave little kitten.

Now home with her new family, Holly is ready to take on the world with Scarlette by her side – and a new name to boot: Doc! Curious as to where the name came from?

“Doc McStuffins, her favorite little cartoon on TV, and also because both the cat and her have had so much interaction with doctors,” Matt Tipton told ABC7.

Follow Scarlette and Doc’s magical bond on Facebook at Smiles for Scarlette, or donate to Scarlette’s Medical Fund here.

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