Tortured kitten, left to die, gets tender care
Monday, February 25, 2013
WENATCHEE — When he grows up, Marshmallow might pass for a Scottish fold — the cat breed known for its irregular ears.
But the 2-1/2-week-old kitten didn’t come by his looks naturally. The soft tissues of his ears were burned off; his rescuers suspect someone did it with a cigarette. His nose, cheeks, chin and the pad of one paw were also burned. And, like two other kittens from the same litter, he was tossed in an Ephrata garbage can.
Passersby heard the mewling Sunday afternoon and fished the ash-gray kitten out of his container. His two brothers were found in another trash can just down the alley. The couple who discovered the cats nursed them at their home, then called Cami Life with the Wenatchee-based Kitty Rescue project.
“They had just found them a couple of hours earlier,” said Life, who rushed to meet the animals’ rescuers in Quincy and bring the kittens back to Wenatchee.
The other two kittens, still suckling for milk, appeared in good health, but Marshmallow, as Life named him, needed a veterinarian’s care. Bryan Keppler assessed Marshmallow at his veterinary clinic Monday afternoon, cleaning the burned flesh and prescribing ointments and oral antibiotics.
One ear was burned down to the cat’s scalp; the other retained a wedge of ear tissue about the size of a small moth’s wing. It definitely looked as if someone had intentionally harmed the cat with a hot implement, Keppler said.
Although maimed, the kitten has a good outlook.
“He’s so young, I think that skin’ll grow back pretty quickly across there,” Keppler said, indicating the cat’s most damaged ear. “... Hopefully the ear canal will stay open and he’ll still be able to hear.”
Life said there’s little way to know who tortured Marshmallow and discarded him — or if he was discarded with his littermates first, then tortured by someone who found the cat and dumped him in a second trashcan.
You can help
The Kitty Rescue nonprofit agency accepts donations at 319 N. Garfield Ave., Wenatchee, 98801, or via PayPal at thekittyrescue.com.
Ephrata police said they did not receive a report of the crime; Deputy Larry Ledeboer, Grant county’s designated animal control officer, said he was not informed of an animal cruelty case from Ephrata. The couple who found and turned the three animals over to Kitty Rescue could not be reached for comment Monday.
Life’s been running her nonprofit cat rescue since 2007, and said she rarely sees instances of intentionally maimed animals. She’s keeping a close eye on the health of all three cats — bottle-feeding them every four hours — and will soon turn them over to trusted foster homes until they reach at least eight weeks old. Only at that point will they be made available for adoption.
“I think he will be OK,” she said of Marshmallow. “Kittens are like kids who are in car wrecks or something — they don’t remember all of that trauma when they grow up.”
Jefferson Robbins: 664-7123
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