MOUNT CARMEL, Tenn. (WJHL) — An orange tabby cat who lost his front leg in June gained a forever home months later after his caretaker made the decision to keep him.

Dustin the cat is named after the Hawkins County deputy who rescued him after finding the kitten with a severed front leg. Workers at the Mount Carmel Animal Hospital believe a person sawed off the kitten’s front leg and left him to die.

Emily Weems, a worker at the animal hospital, took to Dustin the cat the first day she met him. She told News Channel 11 that even after enduring the traumatic and painful injury, the kitten did not lose his affectionate nature.

“I decided to adopt him because as I said before, I fell in love with him as soon as I held him,” Weems said. “He had just been through the most terrible thing in the world and he had bright eyes and was purring like nothing happened.”

The kitten did not undergo any surgeries for the injury, but it took months of close monitoring and medication to ensure he healed the best he could.

“His treatment was cleaning his wounds two to three times a day, hydrotherapy and applying honey to his wounds,” Weems said. “Once we were able to get a small piece of dead bone off, he healed like a champ! He was getting antibiotic steroids and pain injections at this time.”

As of October, Dustin is no longer on medication and expects what any kitten would: all the love and snuggles — and that’s what he gets.

“He has no problems whatsoever; he plays, he runs and loves to be snuggled,” Weems said. “When he wants to be picked up, he will meow and stand up on his back feet like a little groundhog.”

Dustin’s story began as a tragedy, but it didn’t end there. The kitten continues to live his happy ending with his caretaker in his forever home.