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Quinn is Our Amazing Disabled Kitty!

Updated on March 9, 2013

Meet Quinn!

Just look at that handsome kitty face! How can you resist that dark eyeliner and the cute little mustache?

We knew that Quinn was beautiful right from the start, but we weren't smitten with just his good looks; he really won our hearts when he stood up. On all three of his kitty legs.

We knew that he was special before that, of course. After all, we were sitting in the FIV+ room at our local Humane Society.

Quinn was Adopted from a Local Animal Shelter - Adoption Supports Pet Rescues!

Adoption is an important way that you can support your local animal shelter. Shelters spend hundreds of dollars on caring for the animals in their facilities and most of that is paid for by generous sponsors and donors who support the rescue efforts. The adoption fee that you pay isn't exactly "buying" a pet, because the money that you spend goes toward the cost of vet bills and vaccinations, spay or neuter and often microchipping as well. If it seems that the $100 adoption fee you're being asked to pay is exorbitant, bear in mind that the free kitten in the papers needs to see the vet for a check up, receive his or her complete shots, have a de-worming treatment, and treat for fleas and heart worm prevention. In some areas you will need to purchase your license for your pet (laws vary by state). Just to illustrate, all of this cost $400 for my puppy a little less than a year ago. The cost of adopting a shelter pet is usually under $200.

There is no reason why a responsible pet owner should not and would not choose a shelter pet (unless you are seeking to breed responsibly, show your animal or are purchasing a working breed for a specific purpose).

When you adopt a pet, you help to support your local animal shelter. Your adoption fee not only goes toward their cost of taking care of your pet while it was in their care, but it also helps to keep the shelter open, allowing the shelter to help more abused or discarded animals.

Have you ever adopted a pet?

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My Top Ten Reasons to Adopt a Shelter Cat

  1. Your pet knows you rescued them. You may not believe it now, but when you take home your first rescued pet, you'll know as I do; that your pet understands that they finally have a home instead of a cage to return to after visiting hours.
  2. In most cases, you're saving a life. There are many no-kill shelters out there, but the majority of shelters euthanize animals who don't get adopted on their timeline, or euthanize animals that are inconvenient, such as those that are sick or elderly or who have behavioral problems.
  3. The majority of adoption counselors won't pressure you into adopting a pet. Unlike a pet store, where the employees are committed to making sales (sometimes on commission), your adoption counselor is committed to helping you to find the perfect pet for you and the perfect home for your pet.
  4. You are usually given plenty of time to get to know your pet before you bring him or her home or even make your application. This can be really important, especially if you have a dog, since most shelters will allow (or even require) you to introduce your existing dog to the new addition.
  5. Puppies and kittens (including pure bred animals) are often available from shelters. If your local humane society doesn't have what you're looking for, you should be able to find a breed-specific rescue where you can get the breed that you're really after.
  6. Your new friend has likely been temperament tested and maybe even fostered by a loving person or family who can give you information about his or her personality (unless you are adopting a very young animal). This gives you a better idea of what you're bringing home than if you go to a pet store where the staff knows nothing about individuals.
  7. The cost of adoption is generally less expensive than the cost of responsibly taking on a free kitten or puppy. Remember that once you've factored in the cost of vaccines, initial vet exam, microchipping and licensing (where applicable) as well as your spay/neuter, you've likely spent well over $300. A shelter pet usually has an adoption fee that is significantly less than this, but you get everything mentioned!
  8. A shelter generally gives you ongoing support with your pet. If you have behavioral issues, you can call and usually get some kind of help, advice or at least support in dealing with the problem. They have a vested interest in ensuring that the match continues to work, since most shelters take returns on their animals. Breeders usually don't.
  9. The goodie bags are out of this world! Often, when you adopt a pet, you get a bag of samples or you get some toys to take home with your pet. Our local shelter has an amazing goodie bag with treats and toys that we got to take home because our cats were staff favorites. Guinevere even came with her collar!
  10. Let's face it: When you adopt from a shelter, you're giving a pet a chance, and often these pets haven't had the chances that the free kittens or even cats you find in the papers have had. They are caged and lonely until you come along to make their lives better. Give a shelter pet a chance today!

Quinn Loves the Cat Track Toy - Great for Your Entertainment as Well as Your Cat's!

Bergan Turbo Track Cat Toy
Bergan Turbo Track Cat Toy

It took me a little while to realize that Quinn was a tripod, meaning that he stands on only three legs. Even with only three legs, however, he is incredibly full of personality, verve, and playfulness. Some toys require a lot of chasing, and it's difficult for a disabled cat to run after toy balls or mice that quickly disappear under furniture or in other locations, tiring out our overweight and handicapped boy.

This toy doesn't require a lot of running around, and Quinn absolutely loves it! This is the first toy we ever saw him playing with, and he spent nearly half an hour chasing the ball around the track in the FIV+ room of the shelter.

I recommend purchasing more than one kit, since this can be put together in so many different ways. Depending on the space that you have, two or three should offer a lot of possibilities for your cat! The video below shows four sets put together.

And don't forget to keep looking down the page for more product recommendations for your cat!


The Bergen Turbo Track is Quinn's Favorite Toy - (This isn't Quinn, even if it looks like a four legged version of him!)

Quinn is an Amazing Shelter Kitty!

A True Rescue!

On Black Friday, our local Humane Society was having an adoption event. All black cats were $9.99 and all black dogs were $69.99 for their adoption fees plus they went home with a special goodie bag full of treats and toys. Since my room mate (soul mate, best friend, etc) wanted to get me a kitten for Christmas since my cat passed away a few weeks ago, and since I am partial to black cats, we thought that we'd go in and see what they had. The special was only good on adult animals, but I don't actually have a special preference for kittens, so I wanted to check it out.

When we got there, the entire shelter was in absolute chaos. I almost couldn't find someone to help me figure out where to go! But when I finally found someone in a staff shirt, I was directed to try the yellow rooms, which is where the cats were. There was one large room that led to an outdoor enclosure, and we went there first. There were several black cats, plus Minnie, a staff pick I had fallen in love with on the website the previous night. She was too sleepy to want to meet me, however, so my friend and I went down to the next room, where cats were kept in large cages, usually with other cats. There were several beautiful black cats, but none that were leaping out to me in personality. I was disappointed, but not ready to give up. There was still one more room to look at.

I didn't notice the sign on the door. Instead, I just went right on in. Immediately a gorgeous dilute torbie caught my attention. She was absolutely stunning, and I spent some time petting her before going to look for her card, a sheet of information about her. I nearly dropped it when I saw that she had feline immunodeficiency virus (the kitty version of HIV). I need to admit that I nearly bolted until a volunteer came into the room and began to pet and play with the cats. That was when I first gave it time. We talked, and I found out more about the virus and what it meant for the life expectancy of the cats. I told her I wanted to look at some others, and she showed me some more cats back in the previous room. I had to talk to my husband before we came back to pick up the little girl with FIV, so we left, got permission from him, and returned two hours later to make our application for Guinevere.

That should be the end of the story. You'd think that it was, but while we were waiting to be counseled, Guinevere was so high up on a cat tree that I couldn't get her down. I sat down next to a gorgeous white and tabby male and began to pet him. Then he stood up and jumped down from his perch.

Now I'm a sap, and I can't resist an animal in need. So when I saw that he landed on only three legs, I couldn't help myself. I jumped up and grabbed his card and began to read it while my friend played with him and the turbo toy. Ten minutes later we had added him to the application, much to the delight of the staff and volunteers at the shelter. I don't think I've ever heard that many happy squeals in an animal shelter in my entire life! Not only had they found a home for one of their FIV+ kitties, but they'd found homes for two! Those happy cries of joy really made my day, and nearly every member of the staff at the shelter made the same noise when they saw my application.

When Quinn came to the Humane Society, his left hind leg was mangled up. Due to his injury, it was decided to amputate. He stands on three legs, and the shelter invested a large amount of money in the amputation. So imagine my personal joy at discovering that he could be mine for only $35, an amount that I was very, very happy to invest for each of the cats. However, the shelter has a program whereby a cat who is a "staff pick" gets $25 off of his or her adoption fee. Since these cats are only $35 adoption fee to begin with, that makes the adoption fee for an FIV+ Staff Pick kitty only $10. We knew that Guinevere was a staff pick, but I was thrilled to see Quinn's pretty face on the noticeboard listing him as a staff pick as well! No wonder, too. He's a very affectionate, loving kitty.

Inspirational Cat Stories - Here are Some about Other "Special" Kitties

Quinn Tested Positive for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus

FIV is Like Aids, but for Cats

When my friend and I first arrived in the room where we found Quinn and his best friend Guinevere, we didn't realize that we were in an isolation room. All we'd been told was that every yellow room contained cats and every blue room contained dogs. The room where we found our babies was at the end of the hallway, out of the way, and empty of both visitors and volunteers. It was a fairly lonely room with six very sleepy kitties who paid little attention to us while we were there. Below you will find links to check out the four other cats who were in the isolation room with Guinevere and Quinn. If you live in the Indianapolis area, maybe you can consider giving a loving home to one of these kitties?

FIV stands for "feline immunodeficiency virus." FIV is a lentivirus, meaning that it is a slow spreading virus in the family of retroviruses. This is the same family as HIV, the virus that causes AIDS in humans. It affects an animal's ability to fight infection, which means that it is very important to make sure that we keep Quinn very healthy. He can never go outside and his access to other cats needs to be limited. He does live with our three uninfected cats, but as long as there are no fights, the virus is unlikely to be spread from one cat to another.

The virus cannot be passed from felines to humans. There is no risk of one of our human household members getting AIDS from our cats and the risk to the uninfected cats is minimal provided that there are no major fights. However, we don't allow the cats to share litter boxes or food bowls as much as possible. The infected cats are fed separately and have their own litter boxes.

The link above will tell you more about FIV. It is important to me that you read it. Please.

Other Kitties in the FIV+ Room at the Humane Society of Indianapolis - If you Live in Indianapolis, Could You Consider Giving These Kitties a Home?

The commentary on these cats is my own, from my experience waiting in the FIV+ room for a counseling session before we could adopt Guinevere and Quinn. We met all of the cats and if we could have taken all of them home, we would have done so. They are all amazing cats who deserve your consideration as pets. They are very much worth the extra effort necessary to adopt them!

You'll have to click on the links to see the pictures of each of the cats.

FIV+ Cats Deserve a Chance Too. - Don't They?

I considered making this a debate module, but I wanted to allow people to answer confidentially if they wanted to. You may choose to provide an open-ended response in the comments below the poll if you wish to do so, but simply voting won't reveal your identity at all. I'm genuinely curious about this and your responses could help others make their own decisions.

Would you consider adopting an FIV+ cat?

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Cat It Senses Complete Play Center for Your Cat - Another Play Suggestion!

What Made Quinn's Adoption so Special?

Guinevere... This Story is Amazing!

When we first got to the shelter, I planned on adopting a black cat... Or Minnie. Instead, none of the cats I had planned on looking at were working out for me. Either they weren't interested in me or they just didn't have the "feel" that I was looking for in a pet. I'm one of those people who trusts my gut when it comes to adopting a pet, and I work extra-hard to make sure that I've found an animal with whom I'm bonding before I put myself and the animal through the hell of finding out that it just isn't a very good fit. Instinct has always served me well.

In the FIV+ Free Roaming Room, I found my cat. I don't know what it was. Guinevere (pictured above) was gorgeous, but it was more than that. She has amazingly soft fur and piercing green eyes. She purrs easily and enjoys being held. She was "the" cat, and I knew it from the moment that I laid eyes on her. But I wasn't sure whether or not adopting her was within my budget. I'd come in for a "sale cat" and since I hadn't found one I liked, I was thinking I'd just look elsewhere or come back for another adopt-a-thon. But when I pulled her card, it turned out that she was only $35, and on top of that, she was a staff favorite, which meant that she had $25 off of her adoption fee, making her only $10 for her adoption fee! I was stunned, and rushed right out to put in an application.

The wait was enormous, mainly because there were so many people there adopting black cats and dogs. We had about two hours to wait to speak to an adoption counselor, and we were advised to go back into the FIV+ Roaming Room to spend time with our new pet while we waited. Unfortunately, the silly girl was perched so high up that we couldn't get to her, so while my friend spent her time with Vincent, I petted Quinn, who was sleeping in a cat bed on a little perch. We spent some time in restful silence until the big boy decided he was hungry (when isn't he?) and he jumped down to get some food. When I noticed he only had three legs, he really had my attention. My friend played with him while I went over his card, then added it to the application.

Part of the process for an FIV+ cat is a vet consultation to make sure that the adopter understands the ramifications of the disease. There's not a lot to it, but they want evidence that you know what you're in for in terms of possible vet bills and keeping the cat healthy. Even a minor illness is a big deal for an FIV+ cat. So we had to leave that night and go to the vet the next day, returning with the signed form saying that we understood everything. We were disappointed, but we did what we had to do.

The next day my friend and I returned to pick up the cats and sat down for our second counseling session. Tara, the wonderful counselor who was helping us with the adoption, read us out the notes, stating that "Guinevere has taken a special interest in Quinn." Quinn's notes held similar information. We didn't know that these two amazing FIV+ cats were bonded to one another when we put in the application. But neither of them had to come into our home alone up against three cats, one of whom is fairly dominant. They have one another to cuddle with, to play with, and to share a food bowl with. They are "mates" in every important sense of the term (even though both are altered).

We Have Five Cats; We Need a Cat Tree! - Your Purchase Helps Us to Get One for Our Family!

Quinn loves to be scratched on the left side of his face, since he can't scratch it. When it itches, he scratches it with his phantom leg.

Bring the Outdoors In with Cat Grass!

Catit Design Senses Grass Garden Kit 1x70g
Catit Design Senses Grass Garden Kit 1x70g

This product works with the other Catit Designs products on this page.

Our cats will never be able to go outside. There is too much risk of them coming into contact with feral cats. Not only do we want to avoid spreading FIV to the other cats, but we also want to make sure that our kitties don't come into contact with something that will make them sick and therefore put them at risk from their disease. Bringing grass into the house is important for them as it can help them with digestive upsets.


I'm Glad we Adopted Quinn from the Humane Society of Indianapolis!

The humane society was very helpful. There were plenty of volunteers to help us even on a very busy day. The center was very, very clean, and I was encouraged by how much work they put into helping us to understand our cats before they came home with us. Their adoption fees are reasonable and the products that they sell in their store are all reasonably priced as well. Since these items support the shelter, we purchased a few things from them with the money that we had left over in our budget. The staff were incredibly helpful with the entire process. I'd adopt from them again in a heartbeat, if we had room in our home for another pet!

The pictures on this lens were taken by the staff of the shelter and are used with permission and full disclosure of this page.

Take the Best Possible Care of Your Pet Cat - Check out these great books

Quinn has Left Pawprints on My Heart. You can Leave Your Pawprints Here. - What's your Cat Story?

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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      We love your website. We are building, and would be interested in trading links.

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image


      6 years ago

      Quinn is indeed handsome! I had a three legged dog as a child and we nicknamed him Tricycle :) He was amazing! We always adopt from shelters. Those animals just have the best personalities! Great page! Oh, and, should add, my parents lost their favorite cat to FIV. It was heartbreaking.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      6 years ago from Canada

      Again you amaze me with how wonderfully well written your articles are. I am so glad that your heart was open to FIV kitties and that both of these feline treasures found their way to your home. I love to read the personal stories of other lensmasters and especially if they involve cats, dogs, or other pets.

    • imolaK profile image


      7 years ago

      I enjoyed reading this story. Blessed!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your story! The pictures are so adorable! I never heard of FIV and have learned a lot! I have two healthy adopted cats of my own, and I feel so blessed to have them in my life.

    • Everyday-Miracles profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      @Wednesday-Elf: Oh I DO hope so! Mr. Bighead was an older cat, and black to boot, so there's no guarantee there, especially with the FIV. It would make me sad if something happened to him. I was very tempted to take him home with us too but my husband wasn't comfortable with an older cat and we just weren't bonding like we did with Quinn and Guin.

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image


      7 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Looks like you ended up with a very special pair of cats - Quinn and Guinevere. I also like the way you've included links to other available cats to adopt at the Indy Humane Society. Did you know that the link to both 'Big Head' and 'Minnie' are blank? Were those cats since adopted? Perhaps on your next 'visit' there, you could learn about and feature some other cats now available there. It's a wonderful way to let prospective pet owners know who and what is currently available. :) Good job!

    • EveStock profile image


      7 years ago

      Great Lens! And the cat is wonderful.

      All the best wishes

    • sharioleary profile image

      Shari O'Leary 

      7 years ago from Minnesota

      What a great story. You are a wonderful person for adopting these two very "special" kitties.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Our newest kitty, Odan, has three legs owing to a bout with a car (before we met him). The rescue folks were so glad to find a home for him that they waived the fee. And his foster-mom gave us a kitty tree! He's a happy kitty, very boisterous!

    • manicnymph profile image


      7 years ago

      Quinn & Guinevere are absolutely adorable and very lucky to have you! Big Squidlike! My mum 'adopts' cats who simply show up at her house needing a place to go. One of these - Charlie - is also is a three-legged cat. He showed up one day with a badly wounded back leg, was taken to the vet, where it was decided his leg needed to be amputated. Charlie made a full and fast recovery, and was an absolute inspiration to my mum who was also suffering with a medical illness. These animals are important, and I'm glad there's people like you who will take them in regardless of medical issues or disfigurements.

    • Board-Game-Brooke profile image

      C A Chancellor 

      7 years ago from US/TN

      Oh, what a wonderful story! I can see why you got a purple star for this one. They look like such lovable kitties.

    • annieangel1 profile image


      7 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      great lens - blessed

    • Susan300 profile image


      7 years ago

      Wonderful Lens! :)

    • thedailysatire profile image


      7 years ago

      He is a very cute cat. I would always get a resuce animal when buying a pet.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Yay for you for being open to adopting a special needs cat - and to your shelter for giving them a chance. Many shelters simply put all FIV+ cats to sleep instantly - even a "no-kill" shelter I once volunteered with did so! The same is true for deaf cats - or cats with any disability.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thank you for writing this. I didn't know that FIV+ kitties could be around FIV- kitties; the only time I ever met one, he was separated from the other cats. But that was years ago; maybe there wasn't as much information then. I'm glad to have learned more about this.

    • Franksterk profile image

      Frankie Kangas 

      7 years ago from California

      A wonderful and moving lens. Thanks so much for sharing your story of your Quinn and FIV. The more people learn about FIV, the better because most FIV cats live long, healthy, happy lives. Blessed. Bear hugs, Frankster

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This lens has absolutely made my day. My grandma use to say who doesn't like animals doesn't like people either. Thank you for spreading this important info and a beautiful story around. Blessed by a SquidAngel :)

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 

      7 years ago from UK

      Beautiful cats and a beautiful story. I had tears in my eyes and would have blessed this page twice if I could. :) Hugs to you and your new family members.

    • lilymom24 profile image


      7 years ago

      Your cats are beautiful and its great for them to now be in a loving home. =)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Quinn does have a "handsome kitty face" ... He is a lovely cat. It's heart warming that he has a second chance at life in a loving home with you. Thank you for this wonderful story in support of shelter cat adoption.


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