A soft spot for special-needs kittens

Couple adopts a second special-needs kitten with three legs (she's missing a foot) to join their family that already includes a tripod cat.
By Nicole Hamilton

Kittens born outdoors are vulnerable to many dangers, even if they’re strong and healthy. But a tiny kitten with just three legs can quickly get herself into trouble.

That’s what Little One faced when she was found near Salt Lake City with three good legs and a missing foot. Luckily, she was able to come to the Best Friends Kitten Nursery where she received the right care to help her grow up healthy and ultimately find a good home.

Little One the kitten was found near Salt Lake City with three good legs and a missing foot

Best Friends in Utah works collaboratively with animal rescue groups, city shelters and passionate individuals who are all dedicated to the mission of making Utah a no-kill state. As part of this mission, Best Friends hosts adoption and fundraising events, runs the Best Friends Pet Adoption Center in Salt Lake City, operates two spay/neuter clinics and leads the No-Kill Utah (NKUT) initiative. Together, we will Save Them All.

Cats with three legs are loveable, too

A three-legged kitten needing some extra care might require a bit more time to get adopted, but that’s not what happened with Little One. That’s because Heather and her boyfriend JG, Salt Lake City residents, had experience with special-needs kittens.

Sammi Nelson, a friend of Heather’s who is adoptions coordinator at Best Friend Pet Adoption Center in Salt Lake City, contacted Heather about Little One to see if she might be interested in a second kitty. Heather had adopted Baby Jay, a cat born with just three tiny feet, from a farm. She was, in fact, interested in a feline friend for Baby Jay, and couldn’t wait to meet Little One.

“They thought Baby Jay could teach the new kitten how to get around and play,” says Sammi. So, Heather and JG came to the center to meet her, and it turned out that Sammi’s matchmaking was a success.

Learn how Best Friends is helping Utah reach no-kill

Heather came to the center to meet Little One the tripod kitten and it turned out the matchmaking was a success

“I fell in love with her immediately,” says Heather, whose love for those with special needs runs deep. “I have two brothers with Down syndrome, and I think that’s a part of what makes me want to help pets with special needs.”

Now Baby Jay is showing Little One the ropes of being in a home. And her personality is getting bigger each day as she grows up. One night when Heather was standing at the stove cooking, she dropped a piece of food on the floor. Little One retrieved it, and placed it on Heather’s foot.

She’s also as agile as she is smart and has earned for herself the title of “resident spitfire.” As Little One’s new family members get to know her, they don’t mind at all that she’s different. It just makes them love her more.

Join Best Friends and help Save Them All

Now Baby Jay the cat is showing Little One the kitten the ropes of being in a home

Photos by Sarah Ause Kichas

Cat Salt Lake City