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Insert variable into text search string

These two lines are from a program that carries out a phrase search of Wikipedia and returns the total number of times that the specific phrase occurs. It is essential that the search contains an apostrophe:

results = w.search("\"of the cat's\"", type=ALL, start=1, count=1)
print results.total

I want to replace the word "cat" with a variable, e.g.

q = "cat"

so that I can generate the same search format for a list of different words. How do I format the search string to include the variable, please? I am using Python 2.7.