Adam Is Persevering Throughout All the Pain Two Years after Having Been Torched by Giggling Teenage Girls in Santa Rosa
"When I'm at work he opens my drawers and drags my clothes all over the house. He drags it (my nightgown) into the living room and sleeps on it."
-- Tina Wright
On June 20, 2007, a two-month-old black kitten named Adam was deliberately set on fire by two giggling teenage girls in Santa Rosa, California. It was a crime so unconscionable that it not only left him horribly disfigured and near death but it also shocked the civilized world. (See Cat Defender post of July 12, 2007 entitled "Burned Nearly to Death by Laughing Teenage Girls, Two-Month-Old Kitten Named Adam Is Fighting for His Life in Santa Rosa.")
Now, almost two years later and following multiple surgeries and skin grafts, the courageous and long-suffering cat is not only still alive but doing about as well as could be expected considering the extent of his massive injuries. (See photo above.)
For example, he sustained second and third degree burns over more than seventy-five per cent of his tiny body and his tail was so badly singed that it had to be amputated. A large patch of skin was burned off his back and his ears were shriveled. (See photo below that was taken shortly after the attack.)
Unfortunately, he is currently beset by irritating tingling sensations in his skin caused by the grafts and this has prompted him to start gnawing at his new skin. He was fitted with an Elizabethan collar but since he found it to be almost as annoying as the tingling sensations his caretakers were forced to look around for another solution.
That is when Dr. Laura Adams and the staff at the Animal Hospital in Cotati decided to try acupuncture and that seems to be working. At least, Adam has proven to be more amenable to the needles than he was to the cumbersome collar.
Interestingly enough, acupuncture, used most often in conjunction with lasers, is now being employed in order to treat, inter alia, inflammation, eating disorders, arthritis, pain, seizures, kidney problems, spinal cord injuries, hip dysplasia, autoimmune diseases, allergies, and emotional issues in cats as well as in humans. (See The Gazette of Colorado Springs, May 15, 2009, "Treating Munchie: Lasers Offer Relief to Elderly Local Cat" and Montana's News Station, June 3, 2009, "Miracle Cat Cure.")
Moreover, it was only a fortnight ago that the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommended to the National Health Service that it provide and pay for spinal manipulation and acupuncture for individuals suffering from persistent lower back pain. In doing so, it also categorically rejected the efficacy of x-rays, MRIs, ultrasound, steroids, and surgery. (See The Independent, May 27, 2009, "NHS Pins Its Hope for Treating Back Pain on Acupuncture.")
Although Adam's long-term prognosis is unclear, he no longer has to worry about where he is going to get either his next meal or where he is going to hang his hat. Tina Wright, a veterinary nurse at the Animal Hospital who has been caring for him from the outset, has solved both of those problems by adopting him.
Adam is said to enjoy playing with Wright's chihuahua, Pebbles, lying in the sun, and rummaging through her drawers. (See photo above of the happy couple.)
"When I'm at work he opens my drawers and drags my clothes all over the house," she confided to The Press Democrat of Santa Rosa on May 26th. (See "Adam the Cat on Pins and Needles.") "He drags (my nightgown) into the living room and sleeps on it."
As for the two fifteen-year-old miscreants arrested on July 6, 2007 and charged with torching Adam, the record of the judicial proceedings against them has been sealed and nothing has been made public. It is pretty much a foregone conclusion, however, that they got off scot-free.
It is rare that the law enforcement community ever treats crimes committed against cats seriously, regardless of the ages of the perpetrators. As a consequence, it is therefore precisely the police, prosecutors, and judges who are au fond to blame for the fact that these types of horrific crimes continue unabated.
For instance, officers with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals on June 3rd arrested seventeen-year-old Cheyenne Cherry of the Bronx and charged her with cooking to death a cat named Tiger Lily that belonged to her former roommate, Valerie Hernandez. (See photo above of Cherry.)
Cherry and an unidentified juvenile broke into Hernandez's Tinton Avenue apartment on May 6th, stuffed Tiger Lily into a stove, turned up the heat to in excess of two-hundred degrees, and then left the defenseless cat to be roasted alive. The poor cat was burned so horribly that a necropsy was necessary in order to even determine its sex. (See photo below of Tiger Lily.)
Just as the teens in Santa Rosa giggled their silly heads off at what they had done to Adam, Cherry initially dismissed her coldblooded murder of Tiger Lily as a joke. She later amended that statement and, according to the June 5th edition of the New York Daily News, told investigators, "I hate cats!" (See "Bronx Teen Confesses to Roasting Kitten.")
Because Cherry not only trashed the flat but also stole several items from it, she has been charged with burglary, arson, reckless endangerment, and criminal mischief as well as aggravated cruelty to an animal. Her accomplice has neither been identified nor charged.
Despite having been arrested on at least three prior occasions, Cherry has been released without bail into the custody of her mother and is scheduled to appear in a Bronx court on July 15th before Judge John J. Byrne. (See New York Daily News, June 6, 2009, "Cheyenne Cherry, Teen Accused of Burning Cat in Oven, Was Busted in 2008 in Armed Dog-Napping.")
Because of Cherry's heinous act, there never can be a happy ending as far as Tiger Lily is concerned. Little Adam, on the other hand, stands a fair chance of breaking with the age-old pattern of sorrow and death that characterizes just about all feline abuse cases.
If he indeed does pull through, a lion's share of the credit belongs to the dedicated individuals at the Animal Hospital as well as those at Forgotten Felines. By rushing to his side in his hour of greatest need and for standing by him so steadfastly during his long recuperation, they are indeed an inspiration to lovers of the species everywhere.
As for Adam, all the superlatives in the King's English could never do justice to his indomitable spirit, his seemingly boundless capacity to endure suffering, and his abiding will to live. Hopefully, he will be able to summon the strength needed in order to persevere through this latest setback and go on to live a long and fruitful life. If there ever was a cat that deserved at least that much out of this wicked old ailurophobic world it is him.
Photos: The Press Democrat (Adam) and MySpace (Cherry and Tiger Lily).