PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- A Massachusetts man traveled all the way to Ponte Vedra to adopt a special kitten Wednesday afternoon from the feline rescue group Katz 4 Keeps.
Itty Bitty was brought to the rescue facility after a woman found her with her front leg badly injured.
"I was volunteering for a camp for kids called Camp No Limits for kids with limb loss. We have a camp in Ellenton, Florida and other locations throughout the country. I was down here visiting two campers and we were going to go to camp the following week," explained Brain Gentilotti. "They said we found a really great cat for you to adopt so I came down and checked her out and that was it."
Tim Houston, 10, who lost his leg when he was a baby, and his brother thought Itty Bitty and Gentilotti, their camp volunteer, would be the perfect match. That was in December.
"She's a very inspirational kitty," said Houston.
Itty bitty needed to have surgery and couldn't be adopted then, but a few weeks ago she had her front leg amputated. This week Gentilotti returned to the First Coast to pick up the new member of his family. The two share a special bond.
"I also had an amputation due to a traumatic injury. I was in a motorcycle accident back in 2006 and due to complications I elected to have an amputation... After I had the amputation I was able to go back to doing the things I used to do like snow mobile and ski so it was definitely a positive thing," said Gentilotti.
He, like Itty Bitty, isn't letting his amputation slow him down.
"She's not limited… She climbs. She hops up on things. She plays. She walks," said Gentilotti.
The duo exemplify the message Gentilotti tries to get across to his campers.
"You can do anything. Don't sit home and feel sorry for yourself because you have one limb missing, a hand or are missing both legs. There are a lot of amputees there that are missing all four limbs, and it's amazing what they can do. They can throw a football better than I can, and this cat is an example of that. She's able to do anything."