Kindred Spirits: Burned Cat Finds Home With Burn Survivor

Two months after first arriving at our shelter, Phoenix—the kitten who was discovered outside a laundry room with burns all over her body—has found the perfect home with a woman who shares a similar story: She is also a burn survivor.

When Gloria was 16 years old, she was involved in a household accident that left her face, neck and hands seriously burned. She was hospitalized for a month and still carries scars from the incident on her body. Gloria heard about Phoenix on the local news and instantly connected with her story, thinking to herself, “We’re kindred spirits.” Although she had no intention of adopting another pet, her daughter called her and said, “Mom, this is the cat for you.” Then a friend emailed her another news story about Phoenix and encouraged her to contact the Dumb Friends League. In Gloria’s words, “When something is meant to be, the world gets real small.”

Gloria came to our shelter to visit Phoenix and said it was love at first sight. We could tell it was the perfect match as Phoenix lay dozing and purring happily on her lap. She is planning to rename her “Rosebud” because of the shape of her tiny, pink ears.

Phoenix’s journey

In November, a 10-month-old white kitten arrived at the Dumb Friends League with scorched fur and painful burns covering her face, ears, tail and all four paws. She had been found near the laundry room of an apartment complex, and we suspect that her injuries may have been caused by hiding under a clothes dryer to stay warm. Shelter staff named her Phoenix and it was clear she was in desperate need of medical care.

Veterinarians at the Dumb Friends League performed surgery on Phoenix to remove her burned skin, reconstructed her ears and wrapped her scorched paw pads to prevent infection. After surgery, Phoenix spent two months recovering in a foster home. Slowly, the small, quiet kitten began to heal—both physically and emotionally—from her trauma.

Despite her pain and discomfort, Phoenix never stopped purring or seeking affection from all those who helped care for her. Her story is a powerful reminder of the incredible resilience of animals, and how compassion and commitment saved the life of this precious kitten.