This is the story of a three-legged kitten named Itty Bitty and a young man who lost his leg in a motorcycle accident who later went on to adopt her. The journey it took will make your heart smile.
Brian Gentilotti severely injured his right foot and leg in the accident, but ultimately opted for amputation after reconstruction surgery left him in constant pain and with a loss of functional ability. Once he realized he could still maintain his independence with only one leg, he said yes to his surgeon and has never looked back.
Amputees generally develop a long term relationship with their prosthetist because changes in their stump and type of artificial limbs evolve over time. This is especially true for children who undergo amputations because they are still growing.
Brian was introduced to Camp No Limits by his prosthetist who actively does fundraising for the organization. “After the first time I attended the fundraiser I was blown away with what Camp No Limits does with the kids,” Brian told Care2. Seeing how Camp No Limits helps the youngsters learn how to adapt to their unique situations, Brian was hooked.
He started volunteering at many of the eleven camps throughout the United States and would love to give up truck driving to make it his full time job, should the opportunity ever arise. In the meantime, Brian is happy to be working and spending his off time volunteering at the camps. The kids inspire him to be a better human being. “I’m happy to earn enough to cover my bills as long as I can keep mentoring [at the camps],” said Brian.
About Camp No Limits
In 2004, an occupational therapist in Maine was treating a two-and-a-half-year-old little boy “who had a big smile, a spark in his eye, and who was missing three limbs.” Nicholas’ determination so impressed her, she got the idea to start a camp for kids with limb loss. With the goals of educating patients and families in the importance of occupational and physical therapy, prosthetic knowledge and peer support, Camp No Limits was born.
The initial camp, consisting of only four families, was so successful that Camp No Limits started to expand nationally. Currently there are camps in Maine, Missouri, Maryland, Florida, Idaho, Arizona, Colorado, Texas, California and New Brunswick, Canada. A second camp in Maine, Camp sNOw, is held in the winter focusing on winter activities like skiing. On average, as many as 100-150 children and family members attend each camp session.
Watch the video below to get an idea of the remarkable effects it has on youngsters who struggle with limb loss. Teaching independence to children is so vitally important. Apply that to kids without limbs and it takes on a whole new meaning.
The abandoned kitten was rescued by a woman who discovered she had a badly injured front leg. She brought the tiny black kitty to Katz 4 Keeps, a rescue group in in Ponte Verda Beach, Florida. Amputation was planned when Itty Bitty got old enough to tolerate anesthesia and the procedure was scheduled along with her spay surgery.
“I already had two cats and really didn’t want another,” thought Brian when two boys he met at Camp No Limits in Florida suggested he adopt the injured kitten last December. Tim Huston, a 10-year-old amputee, encouraged Brian to visit Itty Bitty anyway. You guessed it: it was love at first sight!
Brian, a Massachusetts resident, “put a hold” on Itty Bitty and committed to adopting her. On April 16, 2014 he traveled to Florida and made it official. Mary Boushie from Katz 4 Keeps describes Itty Bitty’s personality as “beyond spectacular…From day 1 she never knew she had a bad leg,” Mary told Care2.
“Cats are very adept at adjusting to the loss of a limb,” said Mary “and she was beyond adept. There is nothing she can’t do; from running, to jumping, to climbing. She made friends with every kitten in our facility, and was a natural ‘top cat’…just a delightful friend to our other kittens and us. “
Brian reports Itty Bitty and his other two cats, Pretty, a soon to turn three-year-old and Baby, who is almost four, get along marvelously. Is Itty bitty going to be the top cat? Only time will tell.
So, were Itty Bitty and Brian finding each other serendipity or fate? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.