This 7-week-old kitten sparked a social media furor after he was found on the side of a Northern California road sporting a very unnatural coat of purple fur.
But, it was his deep bite marks that were at the center of attention.
The poor kitty had all the markings one would normally see on a used chew toy, only, this “toy” wasn’t very well-loved by the doggy who repeatedly sank its teeth into him!
He was treated like a living rag doll.
A San Jose animal shelter was shocked when an anonymous rescuer dropped off the unusually-colored kitten.
His limp body and traumatized eyes spoke volumes about the horrifying ordeal that he had barely lived through.
Thankfully, the shelter decided against euthanizing him, and the 2-month-old was immediately transferred to the Nine Lives Foundation for emergency medical care.
Staff named the sweet ‘lil kitty “Smurf” due to his indigo-hued fur. But, that’s where the similarities with the happy cartoon characters ended.
Being “live bait” was Smurf’s only purpose in life – until he was rescued!
Veterinarian Monica Rudiger told Mercury News that abuse at this level was horrendous:
“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. How anyone could use this adorable little kitten as dog bait is horrifying.”
Even though his body was broken, Smurf’s spirit never waned.
When his matted fur was finally shaved off, that’s when staff could really see the extent of his injuries, which included raw, open abrasions, multiple lacerations, and over twenty puncture wounds!
Rudiger mentioned to The Dodo that the purple dye actually went pretty deep, too.
“We’ll never get that purple dye out of him. He’s been shaved and he’s still purple. It’s so deep; It’s probably undiluted garment dye. I hope it ends well for him, but he seems to be doing really well.”
Thankfully, Smurf was one tough cookie. After undergoing surgery to repair a wound on his knee and patch up his other injuries, the first of his nine lives finally started to improve.
In fact, Smurf was even able to own up to his cheeky cat-ness and pull off that quintessential “I will end you” look before he left the hospital!
Sadly, kittens like Smurf are sometimes used as a training tool in dog-fighting operations.
As reported by The Dodo, Rudiger said that abuse like this is totally preventable:
“In our area, cats are used as bait for pit bulls every day. It’s just horrifying. That’s why you don’t offer free kittens out on the internet – they use them for whatever they want. Who knows what Smurf’s story was? I wonder about all the other kitties we don’t get to save.”
Smurf snagged himself a bestie!
Although Smurf’s life was initially filled with pain and suffering, he found joy with his new best friend. This is Wanda, a blind kitty who showed up at the shelter the day after he arrived.
Not only did they hit it off right from the start, but they also got to grow up together!
Smurf was Wanda’s guide-kitty as she explored her new surroundings. We’ve all heard that true love is blind, but in this case, true love came as a surprise!
The two immediately bonded and were so inseparable that the shelter insisted on adopting them out as a pair.
This is what Smurf looks like now that he’s a grown-up cat. He turned out to be quite the handsome boy – just check out that glorious mane of his!
The unnatural purple tint has long since faded away, but the “royal” part of his former royal purple coloring still remains.
Even though Smurf had a tough start in life, now his world is one big happy playground where he gets to climb trees, chase squirrels, and snuggle up with his bestie.
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