SHE may be small, but Little Sweetie has the heart of a lion.
The 15-week-old kitten is recovering far better than expected after a horrible act of animal cruelty left her fighting for her life.
The kitten suffered severe burns to her head, back and chest after being set on fire in Casino last month.
She had to undergo two major operations to remove the burnt tissue to prevent infection and allow the wound to heal.
Veterinarian Dr Elizabeth Teakle from Central Veterinary Care Clinic in Casino said Little Sweetie would probably have her bandages removed in a few weeks.
"Her wounds are healing really well," she said. "We thought we would have to do follow up surgery, but it doesn't look like we will anymore."
But Little Sweetie will always bear the scars of her mistreatment.
Her ears were severally burnt and have started to contract and become "a little distorted."
Fortunately, Dr Teakle said her hearing and eyesight appear to be in good form.
"The hearing is fantastic, she knows when the fridge is opened," she said.
"She's really hungry and she loves her food.
"She's not afraid of people at all, she's playful and she loves to sleep in people's laps.
"I think her prognosis is extremely good, she's going to have a good life."
RSPCA Far North Coast regional inspector Alistair Hills said the kitten was making a better recovery than anyone had hoped for.
"When she first had surgery we thought her chances were fifty-fifty," he said.
Mr Hills said there were still no leads on who the owner or perpetrator may have been.
"It's always disappointing that there are people out there that would derive any sort of pleasure from doing something like this," he said.
"If anyone sees or suspects animal cruelty please phone RSPCA."
The RSPCA is still looking for the cat's owner and offender. Anyone with information is asked to contact the RSPCA on 1300 CRUELTY (1300 278 3589).
Central Veterinary Care Clinic regularly cares for unwanted and stray cats. Anyone wanting to give one of these cats a home can contact the clinic on 6662 6661 or call the Casino pound on 6660 0300.
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