Editor’s note: Some of the photos below might be too intense for some readers. Discretion is advised.
“Rhain and Noah’s injuries were painful — and painful to see,” says Angela Townsend, the development director at the Tabby’s Place sanctuary in New Jersey. She was referring to two cats discovered by local animal control with what she calls “ghastly skin injuries.”
The horrific markings were consistent with chemical burns — and in the case of Rhain, a sweet gray feline, one of her injuries left her with a distinctive heart-shaped wound marking on her stomach.
So far, rescuers have no clues or information about whether the cats’ burns were caused by human cruelty or simply a case of Rhain and Noah letting their curiosity lead them into danger.
Despite the Tabby’s Place vets setting to work on the cats right away, the shy and somewhat anxious Noah sadly fell foul of an underlying heart disease and passed away. (It’s unknown whether Rhain and Noah were brother and sister, but it seems apparent that they were best buddies.)
Rhain fared better in response to the treatment for the wounds she’d picked up.
“They’ve healed beautifully,” says Angela. “We treated her with antibiotics and warm compresses to the burn on her belly, and at this point she requires no further treatment.”
Angela adds, “We now think Rhain got the burn on her mouth from grooming her belly.”
The humans at Tabby’s Place also discovered that Rhain was born with a cleft lip — a physical quirk that she’s believed to have aggravated while attempting to groom her heart-shaped wound in a bid to relieve the searing pain.
Thankfully, Angela says that Rhain’s cleft lip doesn’t seem to bother her on a day-to-day basis. She has also proved herself a pro at chowing down at mealtimes and tends to her personal grooming like a fancy cat.
“We actually think her cleft lip makes her especially cute,” Angela adds.
It has been a few weeks since Rhain found herself at Tabby’s Place — and her recovery is going excellently. This striking feline is also gearing up to start searching for her forever home.
“Our sweet Rhain would thrive in almost any place,” says Angela, “especially one where there’s oodles of affection to go around.”
Fittingly for a cat who suffered a heart-shaped wound, Angela adds: “Rhain has a way of making you feel like you’re her favorite person in the universe from the minute she meets you and lavishes you with her love.”