A young woman from Kilmanagh – whose cat went missing and came back with cuts and a burn mark from a car cigarette lighter on him – says owners around the county need to be more vigilant.
Nursing student Kate Burke, 22, discovered to her “absolute horror” that he had been brutally attacked and tortured by someone in the area or someone passing through in an act of cruelty.
She says a human committed this “act of cruelty” and is appealing for information and to anyone who may have seen anything suspicious on the Friday night and Saturday of July 14 and 15.
Her five-year-old pet cat Simon did not come home that Friday night and speaking to the Kilkenny People, she said: “I was in my room on Saturday and at around 11am my father brought him in and he was very sore and was struggling to get over our fence.
“We couldn't get a proper look at him and he didn't want anyone going near him which again was very unusual. Simon loves being petted and cuddled.
“On Sunday he got up and I noticed the inside of his back leg was torn open, like taking skin off a cooked chicken.
“It was swollen and infected and we brought him to the vets first thing on Monday. The vets treated the infection and bandaged him and when they got a closer look they considered putting him to sleep.
“There was nerve damage from his groin down to what we'd call an ankle. They put him under anesthetic and they were shaving his hair when they saw a circle on his belly.
“The vet thought it looked like a cigarette lighter and the vet got the one from his car and it was the exact same size and shape.
“The vet said the burn was so deep into his skin someone had held him for at least a minute. At first we thought he'd been in a fight but then we realised given his injuries, a human had done this.
“He had been held down and burned with a car cigarette lighter, which went so deep it damaged nerves and became infected."
Kate claimed: "The attacker also took a blade to his inside leg, leaving a deep cut the length of his leg, resulting in a very dangerous infection, loss of muscle as well as a lot of skin and nerve endings and rendering him unable to walk of sit upright.”
She added: “He was treated in the vets from Monday , July 16 until the following weekend. He's home now and he's not been eating well but thankfully he's doing okay.
“He has to go back into the vets every second morning to get the dressing done. He's slowly healing and is on antibiotics and painkillers."
Kate says Simon is more than just a pet, he is a “much loved” member of their family.
She added: “It was a deliberate unnecessary act of cruelty. I do not know who did this to my cat or why.
“It had to be somebody in the area or passing through the area. I'm not at all accusing anyone, but people need to be more aware of cruelty to cats in Kilkenny. You hear so many horror stories.”
Kate was full of praise for the vet she went to in Callan, Eoin Wilson and the veterinary nurse, Tara Roche.
She said: “I could not praise them enough. They could not have done anymore.
“They are doing everything they can to help him and help us pay for his treatment, even going as far to take their own fee out of it and just ask us to cover materials as best we can.
“However this is proving to be more expensive than we can afford.
“I am trying to raise just enough money to put a dent in the cost of his treatment to help us along.
“We have no idea how much it will cost in total as it will take weeks and months of dressing changes to get little Simon back to himself again, but our vet advised us it would be in the hundreds, even over €600.
“I understand and respect everyone has their own money struggles so all I ask is that if anyone is able to to donate whatever they can to raise €250 within the next few weeks to help us get Simon better again.”
Kate has so far raised over €100 and anyone who wishes to donate can do so here: https://www.gofundme.com/saving-simon