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Slideshow: Cat Survives Severe Chemical Burns

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

When ASPCA staffer Rena Lafaille 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, Kylie 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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Susan Guthrie

Emma, You have said it all, from the heart, so well. I have three cats and a dog, and I cannot imagine anyone hurting one of my darlings like this. Rena, you are an angel, put on this earth by God, to help this wonderful kitty, and many others like her. I love your animal family, and how they took Kylie right in and made her feel at home. I briefly had thoughts of anger, thinking about who might have done this to her, but I quickly put these thoughts out of my mind to concentrate on the good in this wonderful story, the life of Kylie. Thank you, Rena, and the ASPCA, so much, and also that wonderful savior who found her hiding, suffering unimaginable pain. May God continue to bless you so we have you as angels to always help the animals. Please give Kylie a caress behind the ears for me, if she can handle the touching. I will continue to pray as she recovers in your loving home.

Diane

Emma,
You put into beautiful word exactly what I felt when reading this story! God bless the gentle soul who found Kylie, all the staff at the ASPCA, Rena and her lovely family and sweet, sweet Kylie who never gave up. <3

Diane

Emma,
You put into beautiful word exactly what I felt when reading this story! God bless the gentle soul who found Kylie, all the staff at the ASPCA, Rena and her lovely family and sweet, sweet Kylie who never gave up. <3

RobN

I share your sentiments, Emma. I am so grateful to all who have given dear Kylie a new lease on life. She has touched my heart, as well, as have Rena and all of the rescuers and care-providers at the ASPCA. God bless the man who first rescued Kylie and the precious little canines who sniffed her out. May Kylie live a long, happy and healthy, pain-free life. She's a little spirited miracle!

Lynn

God Bless the ASPCA and the kind soul who found her only if Kylie could talk she could tell us who did this "they" are asking for really bad karma
I am glad she is on the road to recovery I am glad I donate to the ASPCA monthly
to help animals like Kylie

Edye

Beautifully written Emma, you said everything I wanted to say. And I too love how this story didn't touch on the nightmare of who did this, but only on the goodness of Rena, the vet(s) and all who helped and were rooting for this amazing kitten. I have three current rescue kitties in my home - all 3 crammed with personality. It's a constant joy knowing what I saved them from, and the rewards are endless.

Cathy

What beautiful words you wrote about this precious kitty. It's so sad that some kid most likely did this to her; a serial killer in the making. I don't understand how anyone can harm an innocent animal. As an animal advocate and volunteer for a local rescue group, I have encountered many cruel crimes but none this horrendous. I am appalled by such acts and I only hope and pray that this person will someday realize the horrible act of violence that they committed and try to make amends.

jofrank

I, also, agree with Emma. I have been rescuing animals; since, I was a child. God bless all!

Linda

This just breaks my heart that there are people in this world than can do things like this without any care at all. Amen to everything Emma said and yes I hope Kylie continues to get better. She is a beautiful cat even with her scars. Cats have feelings. I have been taking care of two kittens born with cerebella hypoplasia and if I had not found their mother before they were born they probably would not be here and they are precious even with their disability's. Love them dearly.

Suzy Tadlock

I totally agree with Emma. Seeing the pictures of Kylie and hearing what happened to her broke my heart. I can't stand the thought of some sick, twisted person abusing abusing an animal. They have total trust in you and give you all they've got to give and then to think that they would have to endure all that pain and misery from a human that they thought they could trust. God Bless you Kylie and I pray that you become pain free. God Bless you too Rena for taking her home to love and care for her. God Bless the ASPCA for saving Kylie's life.

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