Written by Marcelle du Plessis of Mdzananda Animal Clinic, Khayalitsha, Cape Town
Professional photography by Kym Clayton Photography
Ginger cat Marmalade was brought to Mdzananda by his owner, a young man from the community, so that we could get him to safety after he’d been burned with boiling water.
Punished for eating their food
The four-year-old male cat arrived at our clinic on the 28th of July 2018. His owner’s father had tied Marmalade up as the cat had been eating the people’s food; the chain had caused deep wounds around his neck. Then, somehow, Marmalade again got hold of human food and the father threw boiling water on him.
Marmalade had severe, second-degree burn wounds down his back and neck when he arrived at Mdzananda.
The young man brought Marmalade to us as he said his father would kill the cat. He loved his cat and wanted us to help him find Marmalade a home where he’d be safe. Of course, we immediately opened our doors to this gregarious ginger cat.
Marmalade stayed with us for a couple of weeks to receive treatment for his wounds and went on to be adopted by a wonderful couple from Bellville, near Cape Town. He was soon accepted by the other four cats and is a much-loved member of the family.
Hugo de Villiers, Marmalade’s new owner, shares…
Marmalade still needed plenty of care when he came to us. The open, painful wound was treated with regularly applied coconut oil, a remedy that worked wonders and earned him his new name Koko. But it was an extremely slow process.
As he was clearly still experiencing great discomfort, Koko visited our local vet, and for eight weeks he received bandages every four to five days. Due to his neck wounds, he couldn’t wear a cone to stop him from fussing with his bandages, so they tried a baby jumper. This worked well, allowing him to roam outside and move about freely.
Coming up for six months later and Koko’s wounds are almost totally healed and his beautiful ginger hair is growing back. Although the scars are still visible, he’s happy and playful. He’s become the number one lap cat in the house and, despite his traumatic ordeal, he loves human attention.
About Mdzananda Animal Clinic
Based in the sprawling shanty town of Khayelitsha, Cape Town, Mdzananda Animal Clinic was founded in 1996 to provide veterinary care to a fast-growing community that had no access to help for their animals.
Today the clinic serves up to 700 animals per month through consultations, hospitalisation, surgery (including continuous sterilisations), mobile clinics and an animal ambulance for sick and injured animals, primarily dogs and cats. Their vision is companionship and community care for every animal.