AN ANIMAL shelter has been caring for a cat after it was discovered soaked in petrol.
The grey and black tabby was picked up by an RSPCA animal collection officer from Parham Road in Gosport after it ran into a house covered in fuel.
The homeowners tried to clean the cat themselves, but when they realised they couldn’t, they contacted the Stubbington Ark.
Marianne Thompson, head of the cattery at the Ranvilles Lane animal shelter, has been leading the care of the poorly cat since it was brought in on Sunday.
Mike Ward, manager of the Ark, said: ‘There’s no doubt he was completely doused in petrol or diesel, and it has left him with burnt skin.
‘We don’t know if it was intentional or if it was an accident, and we have no way of telling.
‘There’s a lot of lock-ups and boat yards around there, so he could have fallen in something.
‘We gave him three baths and that was enough, more wouldn’t have made any difference and he was just getting stressed out by it all.
‘And the fumes were terrible as well – they were making Marianne’s and the vet’s eyes run.
‘We carried out a bit of an investigation in the area to try and track down his owners, but it seems that he is a street cat.
‘A family who have been regularly feeding the cat came and identified him, and said he’s called Hamish, but that he was never really theirs.
‘So we’re going to be looking after him until we can rehome him.’
Hamish was also kept on a saline drip until yesterday to flush out his system, in case he had swallowed any of the petrol.
Mr Ward added: ‘Unfortunately we’ve got no idea how old he is, other than that he’s an adult.
‘The prognosis is good now though.
‘He’s uncomfortable, but he’s on the road to recovery and he’s got a good spirit – he’s a real charmer.’
Anyone interested in rehoming any of the Ark’s animals can contact (01329) 667541 or go to stubbingtonark.org.uk for more information.
It is open every day except Christmas day, from 10am to 4pm.