Stray cat survives horrific injuries after being doused in boiling water
25 July 2013
A stray cat suffered hideous burns after being doused in boiling water – yet still managed to care for her three kittens while in agonising pain during Britain's heatwave.
The long haired tabby cat named Patch by volunteers from Cats Protection was reported by a member of the public who discovered her in a garden in Peterborough, Cambs, with appalling injuries.
Pam McNicol, Co-ordinator of Cats Protection's Peterborough and District Branch said: "To say her injuries were horrific is an understatement. Her skin was literally hanging off in large areas and her wounds had become terribly infected.
"She must have been in terrible pain, yet when we collected her she was caring for her kittens, cleaning them and being very protective of them.
Patch needed emergency veterinary treatment to clean and repair the damaged skin and while she should make a good recovery she will have permanent fur loss, scarring and may still need part of an ear removed.
Vet Cees Bennett, of Vets4Pets in Peterborough, who treated Patch, said her injuries would have been caused by boiling water or a caustic liquid being thrown at her.
He said: "About a third of her upper body had open sores or skin peeling off and there were three areas where maggots had begun to burrow in. Had she not been found she would have been dead the following day. She is going to need at least three operations to completely remove and repair the damaged and dying skin but otherwise we are hoping she will make a good recovery."
He estimated the wounds were three to four days old, meaning she was living on the streets like that during this exceptionally hot weather.
Patch's kittens – now named Luca, Lola and Carrie – are aged around six weeks old and were found to be in good condition having been well cared for by their mother.
Pam added: "This is the most callous and cowardly act of cruelty I have ever come across and this defenceless animal was left to endure pure agony for days as a result. Had we not found her, she would have gone on to suffer a slow and painful death.
“Unfortunately it is unlikely that the person who did this will be found but we would like to remind people that causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal is an offence under the Animal Welfare Act and anyone witnessing an act of animal cruelty is encouraged to report it to the police or the RSPCA.”
Patch is being cared for by Cats Protection while she recovers from her ordeal. Her kittens are being hand-reared separately by the charity so their mother can recuperate and all will be in need of new homes in a few weeks’ time.
It is estimated Patch's veterinary bills will total around £1,000 and the charity is appealing for funds to help with the cost. If you would like to make a donation, please visit the Peterborough and District branch’s website at www.peterborough.cats.org.uk for donation options or contact Cats Protection’s national Helpline on 03000 12 12 12 and quote ‘Patch’ to make a donation over the phone (lines open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm). Any funds raised in excess of Patch's bill will be used to help other cats at Cats Protection’s Peterborough and District Branch.