SALT LAKE CITY -- Salt Lake County Animal Services says a kitten that was found severely burned during a recycling plant fire Thursday is recovering and they'll adopt him out to a family.
Veterinarian Ryan Hill said Monday the fire singed the kitten's fur around his whole body, with more severe injuries on the cat's head, arm and toes.
The kitty, who so far has not been named, spent the weekend in a makeshift oxygen chamber at the shelter to help heal his lungs from smoke inhalation, Hill indicated.
During the fire Thursday, Salt Lake City Fire said a recycling plant employee brought the kitten out from the blaze. Pictures show the cat blackened and burned over his entire body. SLC Fire said the cat bit a fire fighter, and Hill said the kitten appeared to be feral.
"Since he was found in a warehouse, he does not have a home, would be my guess," Hill said. "When he came in, he was not being very nice to us. So we assumed that he was truly a feral, mean cat."
They estimated the kitten's age at two to three months, and Hill said the cat is malnourished, weighing only two pounds.
On Monday, loud meowing filled the medical room at the shelter, as Hill carried the small cat out of his chamber and onto a table for an exam. As Hill looked over the cat's ears, eyes and nose, the kitty meowed continuously.
As Hill stroked the cat's back, the cat grew quiet and closed his eyes. When Hill stopped, the cat began to meow again, only quieting back down when Hill pet him.
"He has warmed up a lot," Hill said. "He is a lot friendlier now that he's feeling better."
A vet tech picked the kitty up, and gently gave him a sponge bath with dish soap. The smell of old smoke and charred fur emanated from the cat's body.
The kitten continued making noise, until the vet tech picked him up in a towel to dry him off.
"Look at all that gray that's coming off you, little dude," the vet tech said, as the white towel rubbed off a layer of ash and burnt fur.
Hill said the cat's wounds will take a couple weeks to heal, and after that they'll neuter the kitten.
He said they'll adopt the kitty out to a family.