Slideshow: Cat Survives Severe Chemical Burns

Wednesday, August 14, 2013 - 3:30pm
Slideshow: Cat Survives Severe Chemical Burns

When ASPCA staffer Rena L. saw a veterinarian cradling a tiny animal in her arms, she wondered, “Is that a turkey? What’s a turkey doing at the ASPCA Adoption Center?”

Then she realized: The tiny animal was in fact a cat—one who had suffered severe chemical burns on her back, scalp and other parts of her body. Kylie’s ears were singed off, and she couldn’t walk or close her red and cloudy eyes.

“My heart was completely broken,” remembers Rena, ASPCA Adoption Center Department Coordinator. “Ever since that moment, I’d go visit her when I was done with my office work, for 30 minutes to an hour.”

Late last year, Kylie was found hiding behind some bushes, quietly suffering, when two dogs sniffed her out while out on a walk. The dogs’ pet parent took the first step toward saving Kylie’s life: He brought her to ASPCA Animal Hospital. But Kylie’s struggle was far from over, and our veterinary staff didn’t know if she’d pull through.

“It was really touch-and-go with Kylie because she’d lost so much skin,” recalls ASPCA veterinarian Dr. Patricia Wagner, who treated Kylie. “We didn’t know if she’d be able to blink, or walk, ever again.”

Kylie needed several surgeries, specialist care and extensive treatment for her injuries. She spent months at the ASPCA Animal Hospital, where everyone fell in love with Kylie and her sweet, patient personality. “Everyone knew who Kylie was,” says Dr. Wagner. “There were so many people here pulling for her. We didn’t want to fail.”

Then one day it was clear to our veterinarians that Kylie’s recovery had turned a corner—she was out of the woods. In fact, Kylie was ready to continue her recovery in a foster home. Rena’s was an obvious choice. Rena began fostering Kylie in February, eagerly taking on the medical regime her new foster kitty required: pain medicine, fish oil and eye drops, all twice a day on a rigid schedule. To protect Kylie’s burns and promote healing, Rena purchased her a T-shirt. When the shirt didn’t quite fit, Rena had it tailored.

Today, Kylie is an integral part of Rena’s family and fast friends with Lafaille cats Gizmo and Cleopatra, a Beagle called Maya, and Baby Jin, a four-and-a-half-pound Chihuahua who is her playmate and constant companion. Rena continues to work with Dr. Wagner on Kylie’s treatment, and they’re hopeful she won’t need medication one day.

“Kylie will never, ever give up no matter what,” Rena says. “It was her spirit that got her through this. She’s really an incredible cat.”

We can’t think of a better example of the animals our members’ support touches. If you haven’t lately, please consider making a gift to the ASPCA today. You’ll assist animals like Kylie—those already fortunate enough to be in our care, and those still waiting for our help.

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Although I personally have rescued more than 100 cats from a bitter end, I never tire of hearing a true success story and Kylie's is certainly just that...remarkable! Unfortunately, there will always be evil in our world but my strength comes from those who care and want to help those without a voice. A most inspiring story, indeed.

Caroline Thomas

Such a beautiful story. Animals teach us what it really means to be human. So much of the best of us is 'animal.' Kylie is such a brave little cat and wonderful Rena recognizing and nurturing her will to live and dedicating herself to keeping that flame alive is a great love story. Love is what really matters, and we forget it all the time. Animals remind us...


You are a true angel. God bless you................

Beth Hester

may The Lord richly bless the man who brought her in, Rena and the vet staff and the ASPCA.......
I am glad to contribute.


Every caring soul needs to keep preaching the need to spay and neuter our companion animals. Fewer animals out on the streets = fewer victims for sadistic monsters to prey on. Bless all the innocents that have suffered at the hands of the ilk that did this to Kylie. May there be a special place in hell for him.


People are so cruel. I am so glad that Kylie has the care and love she deserves.

Joan Birch

People who hurt helpless animals like Kylie are cowards, they the animal has no way to fight back

jj animal lover

Thank you so much for saving this poor innocent baby and thank g-d your dogs were smart enough to sniff the poor thing out!! May g-d Punish the People that did this!! and may they get what they deserve!! I know it's not right to ask for that But this poor baby was unable to do anything and They were so CRUEL!! :-(


Dear Rena and the staff of the ASPCA that treated and saved the life of this precious kitty - may the pile of crap, that burned her, burn himself in hell for eternity. Nothing was said about how Kylie got the chemical burns, so I have to assume that it was a pile of crap that did this to her - no human would - a punk - a bully - a thoroughly ill, mentally, pile of crap would and did do this. Kiss her gently, on her head, for me please...her coloring looks very much like my spoiled rotten India...this story breaks my heart.


Was there any investigation as to who may have done this to this little angel of a cat?