Smurf the cat has generated a wave of sympathy, after the purple-dyed feline was found riddled with dog bite wounds and other unsettling signs of abuse.
The tiny kitten, which is just around 8 weeks old at the moment, was saved by volunteers at the San Jose Animal Care Center.
Eventually, on December 28, it was brought to the Nine Lives Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Redwood City, California, which is actively involved in rescue operations and adoptions, and also offers medical care to cats and kittens.
According to representatives of the foundation, the feline called Smurf weighed just around 1.75 pounds at the time of its arrival at the clinic.
Despite appearing to have been someone’s pet, the cat had been in a horrendous state, being covered in multiple puncture wounds.
Veterinarians established that the deep skin injuries had been provoked by dog bites, and while none of them had been severe enough to prove fatal, they had caused unbearable pain to the mauled creature.
As speculated by Dr. Monica Thomson Rudiger, the NGO’s founder, it is highly unlikely that Smurf was used during illegal dog fighting, as a sort of bait, since being involved in such a vicious display of force and aggression would’ve been fatal for the small feline.
A more reasonable explanation is that the kitten was actually tortured by its own owner, for entertainment purposes. Basically, Smurf became was turned into a plaything, used by a family dog to chew on and chase, while the owner relished in this gruesome show.
Even the fact that the cat was dyed purple suggests that it belonged to someone who had little concern for its well-being, and was more preoccupied with treating the pet as a source of amusement and strange gratification.
While the feline suffered extreme abuse on a regular basis, being constantly gnawed and pestered, its lacerations, located mostly on its rear leg and shoulder, haven’t been labelled as critical by medical staff at the Nine Lives Foundation.
Nevertheless, given that as the weekend was approaching Smurf’s state took a turn for the worse, it was decided that surgery is a must for the purple kitten.
The medical procedure took place on Saturday, January 3, and it has given a new lease of life to the young animal, which now appears to be much more alert, and no longer rejects food.
As veterinarians emphasize, Smurf will continue to receive antibiotics and remain under constant medical supervision until its health is fully restored.
Even once that milestone is reached, the feline still won’t be put up for adoption straight away. Instead, Nine Lives staff will be waiting until the cat’s current indigo dye disappears entirely, in order to ensure that Smurf’s future owners won’t simply choose it because of its unusual coloring.
Since the dye appears to be long-lasting, several months may pass before Smurf returns to its original coat color (either grey or black), so that means the cat will spend more time at the facility, alongside Wanda, a blind, rescued feline which he has recently befriended.
Given the fact that the cats have become virtually inseparable, Rudiger points out that when the time for adoption comes, the duo will have to be kept together, being taken in by the same family or individual.
Regardless of the cruel behavior exhibited by Smurf’s former owner, foundation members still hope the person responsible for this animal abuse will own up to this mistake.
Meanwhile, Lisa Lange, PETA’s senior vice-president, has emphasized that this kitten has actually been lucky enough to be rescued and benefit from such extensive media coverage.
In contrast, many animal cruelty victims have to endure such torture until their dying day, which is why more emphasis should be placed on supporting humane societies and animal shelters.
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