TEMPLE TERRACE — Katy Decker had been living in Tampa for about a week when the horrible happened.
She was driving on Linebaugh Avenue when she hit a kitten, breaking its two front legs.
Vets wanted to euthanize the gray kitten, which weighed less than 3 pounds. Something inside her told her not to.
"He was just so adorable,'' she said. "He seemed like he wanted to live.''
An opera singer in a band, Decker couldn't afford the vet bills but qualified for aid through Frankie's Friends Charitable Foundation's Hope Account. Led by the Florida Veterinary Specialists, the foundation raises money for families in crisis who can't afford medical care for their pets.
The kitten survived, minus one leg, and went to live with Decker and her husband, Michael, at their home in Temple Terrace. They named him Timmer, after Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol.
Four years later, Decker wants to return the help she received.
Throughout July, Decker and her band, Mena Brinno, are donating half of the profits from CD sales to Frankie's Friends. The band also will donate half of the ticket-sale profits from its Aug. 9 concert at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg.
"It's a great ending for this kitten,'' said Cari Sadler, president of Frankie's Friends. "It's fantastic that she remembered us.''
Decker, 36, founded the four-member band in November 2006. She came up with the name leafing through a Gothic dictionary. Mena Brinno means "moon fever" in Old Gothic.
The band performs opera metal, a musical style relatively unknown outside Europe, she said. The group has played in Switzerland, the Netherlands and France as well as locally at the Brass Mug in north Tampa and the Orpheum in Ybor City.
When not traveling, Decker is a voice coach and vocal therapist, often working with high school students who want to go into musical theater.
She and her husband, a professor of Byzantine history at the University of South Florida, live with Timmer and three other cats, Zenny, Odie and Mr. Love.