Charlotte's new friend

UNCONDITIONAL LOVE: Charlotte Cleverley-Bisman with her new cat Multy Salty from the SPCA.
UNCONDITIONAL LOVE: Charlotte Cleverley-Bisman with her new cat Multy Salty from the SPCA.

Charlotte Cleverley-Bisman has called her new cat Multy Salty.

She adopted the 7-month-old kitten from the Waiheke SPCA.

Charlotte, who was a baby when she became a quadruple amputee after contracting meningococcal septicaemia, turns nine next month.

She collected the kitten from the animal shelter after school last Wednesday.

She had visited a few times and really wanted a pet so when it came in and was "so cuddly and playful", manager Lesley McDougall knew it would be perfect for her.

"Children should have a pet - that's how they learn the joys of unconditional love.

"Pets are good therapy. Charlotte will be able to sit with her cat and stroke it and love it."

It will also get her ready for when her "assisting dog" arrives.

Charlotte's mother Pam says they have been waiting a year already but hopes it won't be long before the assisting dog is ready for her daughter.

Dogs $20,000 and will come from a new organisation that trains and socialises them to help children.

"Assisting dogs aren't just for companionship. It will also take the spotlight away from her," Pam says.

"When we go out she gets asked 100 times ‘what happened to you?' A dog will take the emphasis off her."

The community has rallied to help Charolotte since she was a baby and the family has worked hard to move her forward.

Pam is now fundraising to get her daughter a new trike which is being created by a paralympian bike maker.

Charlotte's own mobility is improving after an operation earlier this year. Pam says they were both apprehensive about another operation but the benefits were immediately obvious.

"They cut the scar tissue at the top of her legs at the front and her legs immediately dropped."

This means the youngster now stands straighter.

A third documentary has been filmed because of people's continued interest in Charlotte's progress.

The three-part series will be aired on TV3 in November.

Waiheke Marketplace