AFTER an agonising ordeal, a kitten set on fire at Casino last week is showing good signs of recovery.
The 12-week-old cat, which has been temporarily named Little Sweetie by her carer, had a 50-50 chance of survival after the attack.
Almost a third of her body was deeply burnt, including her chest, back and head.
On Monday, Little Sweetie had major surgery to remove the dead, damaged and infected tissue so the healthy tissue could heal.
Veterinarian Dr Elizabeth Teakle said Little Sweetie would continue to have her bandages changed daily and probably remain at the veterinary clinic for several months.
"She's doing really well," Dr Teakle said.
"The bandage changes are painful but she copes.
"Because her attitude is so good, I'm very hopeful.
"But the wounds on one side are so large it will be a big job for her to heal."
Dr Teakle said the cat would probably require more surgery down the track to help the skin close over.
The cat is being temporarily looked after by a nurse from the clinic until she either finds a new home or is claimed by her owners.
RSPCA regional inspector Alistair Hills said this was the first case he had come across on the Northern Rivers in 12 years.
"Something like this is just a direct form of animal abuse," he said.
"A lot of animal abuse is ignorance or laziness. Intentional outright abuse is avery small minority."
In February this year, a three-month-old tabby cat was found taped up inside a tiny box and abandoned outside Shaw's Veterinary Clinic at Ballina.
The box was about the size of a ream of paper and held together with duct tape.
Can you help?
The RSPCA is still looking for the burnt cat's owner and the offender. Anyone with information regarding its home, or who may be behind this crime, can contact the RSPCA on 1300 CRUELTY (1300 278 3589).