A pair of tiny month-old kittens are recovering after being colored with blue and green permanent markers. The kittens were taken to Bradford Cat Watch Rescue in Yorkshire, England, where staff members have worked to carefully remove the ink from their skin.
“This is a dreadful act of cruelty, and who knows what untelling [sic] damage this may have caused,” staff members wrote on the rescue’s website.
The kittens, who have been named Smurf and Shrek, were both having trouble breathing when they were brought to the rescue center. Staff members believe that the markers could have caused these respiratory issues — and they worry that the cats could have lingering medical issues related to the ink.
“It could affect the skin, it could cause infections, irritations, it could infect anything really — the whole respiratory system,” Katie Lloyd, the care coordinator at the rescue, told the Evening Standard. “And psychologically as well, but they don’t seem overall psychologically affected.”
The workers at the rescue have coordinated with veterinarians to determine the best ways to begin removing the ink from the cats’ skin. They have each been carefully bathed, and the colors are beginning to fade.
“The areas where we’re struggling is around the face and the reason for that is we don’t want it dripping into the eyes, nose or mouth because, believe me, it’s permanent,” Lloyd told the Standard.
The kittens will, at some point, be available for adoption. Hopefully, they’ll grow up in a happy, loving environment and will forget all about what they’ve already had to endure.