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“Would you like a kitten with that?”

On June 10, Emmett and Susan McKinney stopped at the Burger King in Muscatine, Iowa. They meant to get a snack, but they ended up adding a four-legged friend to their order.

When he got out of the car, Emmett heard a mew coming from a small, furry heap lying in the parking lot. He stopped to take a closer look and found a tiny kitten with a seriously injured leg.

“I picked her up, she raised her head and looked straight at me and right there, that was it,” Emmett said.

The McKinneys didn’t think she’d live through the night, but they decided they needed to give her some love and comfort for whatever time she had left.

When they got home, Susan fed the tiny brown tabby and put her in a soft bed.

The next morning, the kitten was still alive, so the McKinneys brought her to their regular veterinarian in Wilton. The vet determined that the leg injury required specialized care and recommended that the McKinneys take her to the Kimberly Crest clinic in Davenport, Iowa.

At Kimberly Crest, the veterinarian discovered that whatever happened to the kitten had caused the nerve to her leg to be pulled out of the spine, Emmett recalled, and suggested that the leg be amputated.

The McKinneys took the vet’s advice.

“It was an expensive trip to Burger King,” said Emmett, mentioning that the kitten’s care had racked up $2,500 in veterinary bills. “But she is worth every penny.”

Emmett and Susan decided to name their new family member Lily Yum Yum, for one of the cats in a series of books by Emmett’s favorite author, mystery writer Lilian Jackson Braun.

Lily quickly overcame the loss of her leg. At 6 months old, she runs around just like a normal cat, even with only three limbs.

She doesn’t have any trouble grasping things, either. “She uses her one right front paw and left rear leg to hold things with,” said Emmett.

In addition to enjoying the good life at her new home, the outgoing and affectionate Lily Yum Yum enjoys regular visits to the Musser Public Library.

Emmett said they started bringing Lily to the library when she was recovering and didn’t like to be left alone. The book-loving couple are regular patrons, and one day they asked the library staff if they could bring the cat with them.

“They said yes, as long as she didn’t cause any trouble,” Emmett said.

Last Tuesday, the McKinneys brought Lily Yum Yum to the library for one of their regular visits.

Emmett lifted the carrier door and let Lily out to make her rounds. She quickly snuggled up to library reference assistant Dan Chapman, who was clearly pleased with the company.

“She’s a nice cat,” said Chapman as he stroked her fur. “And her owners are very nice.”

[Source: Muscatine Journal]