Katniss the kitten was physically abused and deliberately set on fire at 8 weeks old in an incident occurring in Cleveland,Tennessee on October 6, 2014. She was rescued by a good Samaritan and brought to the local emergency clinic, where the veterinarian on duty, Dr. Todd Dolen, who is also the veterinarian for the non-profit organization Animal Aid, in Athens, Tennessee took a special interest in her and brought her home for care.
Katniss suffered severe burns and broken bones and required a couple of surgeries, including the amputation of a seriously damaged rear leg. Dr. Dolen performed the procedures and was able to use skin from the amputated leg for grafts over the kitten’s burns.
Katniss was given her name in a gesture that honored her great courage and strength in the face of terrible adversity.
The sweet kitten received love, prayers, support and donations from thousands of animal lovers during the two weeks that she fought to recover from her injuries.
Katniss was rushed to the emergency clinic very early Saturday morning, October 18, 2014, at 1 a.m., due to sepsis, an inflammation caused by infection. A feeding tube was put in at the clinic. She had improved by later Saturday morning and went home. Katniss greeted Dr. Dolen and his family Sunday morning, October 19, 2014, purring for them, but passed away shortly afterward.
On Tuesday, October 14, 2014, 31 year old Gary Westfield was arrested on multiple charges, including the torture and subsequent death of Katniss. To my knowledge, to date, Katniss’s case has yet to be heard before the courts. The media stopped covering her case. And after a roughly 17 month absence from social media, Westfield is still, or perhaps again, roaming free.