Purple fur, purple heart.

After being dyed purple and used as a chew toy for larger animals, an eight-week old kitten was brought to a San Jose area animal shelter. The kitten, who suffered multiple injuries and weighed less than two pounds, is now on the road to recovery.

Nicknamed “Smurf” the for his blue-purple hue, the underweight and mutilated cat was found in a cardboard box on the side of the road. He was taken to San Jose Animal Care Center and transported to Nine Lives Foundation, a no-kill shelter and adoption center for cats and kittens.

smurf the rescued cat dyed purple

Smurf had multiple puncture wounds and abrasions covering his body, presumably from being abusively used for training in dog-fighting operations. There was also concern for internal injuries by Smurf’s caretakers at Nine Lives.

“I’ve seen a lot of animals used as bait, it looks to me like he was used as a chew toy,” veterinarian Monica Rudiger told reporters. “He obviously wasn’t killed by the dog or whatever animal it was, but he was pretty badly injured.”

Rudiger also believes that Smurf was dipped in fabric dye, an act which she has never encountered in her 16 years of rescue work.

Smurf the rescued kitten

“I can only imagine why someone would dye him purple. I think there are people who find it amusing to take small, innocent animals and use them as play toys.”

About 20 bite marks and abrasions covered Smurf’s body when he was found on December 28. Rudiger says Smurf’s wounds are healing well, and he should be fully recovered in a few weeks. Smurf will be ready to go up for adoption in about three months when his fur has grown back to its natural color.

Despite his traumatic history, Smurf has remained affectionate and loving. When Smurf does go up for adoption, he’ll be paired with his new best friend—a blind kitten name Wanda. Wanda was also found in late December, shivering next to a garbage can, and taken into the Nine Lives Shelter. Here’s a photo of Smurf and Wanda being cute and snuggly together:


Smurf’s story has garnered significant attention from the media. Unfortunately, cases like Smurf are not as uncommon as one might think. Rudiger says that she hopes that Smurf can help raise awareness for cats and kittens in need of homes as well as fight against animal abuse.