Samantha Bell, cat behavior and enrichment lead at the Best Friends Pet Adoption & Spay/Neuter Center, got a life-changing call from the manager of the kitten nursery on May 18th, 2016. She had a sense of urgency in her voice—“Get to the nursery right now—I want to show you the cutest kitten you’ve ever seen.”
Samantha, a lover of all things cat, rushed over to witness for herself the newest addition to the kitten nursery, and eventually (unbeknownst to her at the time), her family. What Samantha remembers being the most unique trait about Quinton wasn’t his adorable appearance or loving spirit, but the fact that he radiated positivity despite his noticeably poor condition and missing back foot. “Quinton honestly was the sweetest kitten I’d ever met, and I’ve met thousands. He was constantly purring and making biscuits. He was pure love,” said Samantha.
Quinton was discovered on the streets of Los Angeles by an unknown individual whom Samantha describes as a “good Samaritan.” Quinton was taken to the city shelter, and the shelter called the kitten nursery, which is the typical protocol when the shelter receives a cat less than eight weeks old. Once the nursery manager laid eyes on the purring kitten, she knew she had to call Samantha. “My type of cat is the cat that needs a little extra love. I’ve been like that since I was a kid. I want all the ones people may not want,” Samantha said. Samantha owns three cats of her own, who all have had to overcome their own unique disabilities.
After meeting Quinton, Samantha brought him to stay with her own kitty crew until she could find him a proper forever home. Not only did this open space up at an otherwise completely full nursery, but it would come to give Quinton a new lease on life.
When Samantha brought Quinton back to her place for the first night, she paid special attention to him to make sure he was well taken care of. “When I brought him home, I gave him a warm bath, brushed out the fleas and gave him warm hugs and love,” she explained. Quinton was introduced to the rest of Samantha’s cat clan the following day, all of whom were once members of the kitten nursery themselves. Following suit with Quinton’s grateful and loving spirit, he had no problems warming up to them and making new friends for life. “He worshipped them and followed them everywhere,” Samantha reminisced.
During Quinton’s stay at Samantha’s, he would often contract an infection on his nub. After thoroughly and thoughtfully considering the option of prosthetics, it was decided that there was simply no other option but to remove the nub that had become a source of serious medical problems that even antibiotics couldn’t fix. Considering Quinton’s small size, avoiding surgery could have been fatal for him.
Even after surgery, nothing could stop him from climbing, running and enjoying the company of his other feline friends. “When he’s running, you’d never know a leg was missing,” Samantha noted.
After some playful days, cuddly nights and rehabilitating time, Samantha sought to find Quinton his permanent home. Admittedly, she struggled with the idea of giving Quinton away to just anyone, and was set on keeping Quinton in the family. “The first night I got him, I knew there was no way I was letting him leave my life,” she said. When Samantha posted a picture of Quinton to her Instagram account in search of a loving owner, Quinton had many takers—her housekeeper, her husband’s friends, and even her father-in-law.
It wasn’t until Samantha’s mother Shirley met Quinton that Samantha was finally confident enough to release him from her foster care.
Originally, Shirley “had no intentions of getting a cat,” but she simply couldn’t resist. “That little guy was so cute. Besides looking cute, he was just so loving and sweet,” she said. Once Samantha asked if Shirley wanted to take Quinton into her care, she knew it was time to adopt. “You don’t have to ask me twice!” she said. Shirley officially adopted Quinton on June 9th, 2016.
Talking to Shirley now, she’s happy to tell you it was the best decision she has ever made. “He plays and makes me laugh; I didn’t know what I was missing,” she said. “I used to sit and watch TV all by myself, but now I have this little buddy with me.”
Shirley loves spending her days with Quinton cuddled up in her lap out on the back porch, or watching TV at night together. She affectionately calls him “Q” for short, among other loving nicknames, and she set up steps leading to her bed so they can snuggle together while she sleeps. Quinton’s favorite toy is a wand toy, and he will cry outside of the closet at the same time every night, waiting for Shirley to bring it out to play.
Despite Quinton’s disability, Shirley says that Quinton runs at full speed and climbs whatever he can get his back claws on, including his favorite cat tree that sits below an open window. “You would never know he has a leg missing… it’s no problem for him at all!” Shirley said.
Samantha Schwab, Junior Editor
As an aspiring cat mom, Samantha Schwab can be found mining keywords, meticulously editing Pet Central blog posts or standing at her desk (usually all three!). An espresso shot and kitty cuddles are the only things that stand between Samantha and conquering the (pet) world!