UPDATE (March 18, 2016): Smurf and Wanda have found a home together. They were adopted by Dr. Julie Desai, a vet who helped care for them. Follow them on Instagram. Also, the no-kill shelter in Redwood City, California, that took in the two cats has to move. Visit the Nine Lives Foundation website to see how you can help.
While most of us were nestled up at home during the holiday season, a 17-week-old kitten was being dyed indigo blue and used as a dog’s chew toy.
Let’s state that again to let it sink in: Someone decided to take a dinky black-and-gray kitten, dip him in dye, and then let a dog maul him, for sociopathic kicks.
The kitten, who has mercifully been rescued by the dedicated folks at the Nine Lives Foundation in Redwood City, California, has now been fittingly named Smurf. Before detailing his story, here’s a picture of this blue-hued trooper, taken on his first day at the shelter.
Back on December 28, Smurf was discovered laying injured with 20 puncture wounds in a box full of purple rags and lemon peels. He weighed less than two pounds.
Speculating on the cause of Smurf’s injuries, Dr. Monica Rudiger of the shelter told a news outlet, “I’ve seen a lot of animals used as bait for other animals — it looks to me like he was used as a chew toy.”
With Smurf running a 106 degree fever, emergency abdominal surgery was a must. He went under the clipper to receive a full-body shave so that his matted fur was removed and the full extent of his many bite wounds and lacerations could be viewed.
Under the auspice of Dr. Rudiger and Dr. Desai, Smurf’s intestines were examined for signs of infection or internal damage. Surgery was then performed that cleared out his intestines, while a particularly vicious laceration on his shoulder was patched up.
According to updates on the Nine Lives Facebook page, Smurf came through his surgery like a champion. He’s since been recovering by taking well-deserved naps in his favorite heated bed and he’s slowing returning to his original black-and-gray color scheme.
Even better, Smurf has proved himself to be quite the amiable animal by bonding with a special needs kitty called Wanda, who also found her way to the sanctuary of Nine Lives.
The 12-week-old Wanda turned up at the shelter one day after Smurf arrived, when a well-meaning family noticed her huddling up next to a garbage can and in visible need of help.
After examination, it was discovered that Wanda is totally blind: “Her left eye never developed in the socket, and her right eye has been damaged beyond repair by a ruptured corneal ulcer.”
Still, as soon as Wanda was placed in the same cage as Smurf, the two of them bonded instantly. Video footage exists of Smurf giving Wanda daily paw massages. The newfound duo are soon going to enter a foster situation before being adopted together.
Smurf’s story has now been covered by news outlets around the world. There’s no doubt that it’s both a stomach-churning and eye-catching headline, by virtue of Smurf’s brief stint as a color-changed cat and the heinous nature of the human who abused him. TV personality Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman has also offered a reward for anyone who brings forward information about the person who basically tortured this kitten. But once the headlines fade, there are still going to be so many more kittens in just as much need as Smurf, but without sensational backstories.
An update from Nine Lives puts it best: “Dr. Rudiger made it clear to all news agencies and people who kept calling nonstop that if they really want to help Smurf and Wanda, they can go to their local shelter and adopt a black-and-gray or blind kitten any time.”
In the meanwhile, keep following the Nine Lives Facebook feed for updates on Smurf and Wanda.
Read about more Monday Miracles: