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(NECN: Alysha Palumbo, Lawrence, Mass.) - This roughly 6-month-old kitten named Marte is looking for a new home after a harrowing few weeks and a brush with death.
Michael Keiley, the director of Noble Family Adoption Center at the Methuen MSPCA, said, "He's just had a second chance and hopefully he didn't burn too many of his nine lives."
It all began at Johnson's Veterinary Hospital in Lawrence.
On Jan. 16, Marte's owner brought him in for vomiting, and doctors say x-rays showed an obstruction in his GI tract. It turns out Marte had swallowed a string that had wrapped itself around his intestines, requiring immediate surgery.
Dr. April Koich, who examined Marte at Johnson's Veterinary Hospital, said, "Waiting on something like that is very risky, they are going to be in continued pain, if that object is truly stuck, dehydration and vomiting is something that can be lethal."
Dr. Koich says owner Billy Benavides had concerns about paying for surgery and according to a police report said "maybe if he kicked the cat it would come out!"
When Benavides didn't return, hospital staff say they tried repeatedly to reach him, were hung up on, and eventually called Lawrence Animal Control.
According to their report, Marte was found in an Orchard Street apartment with a shoelace tied around his neck that was nailed into a wall.
Through translation, Benavides told NECN Tuesday that Marte was vomiting in the living room and in his cage, so they tied him up so he wouldn't throw up all over the place and claimed the shoelace wasn't choking Marte.
Benavides now faces cruelty to animal charges. Meanwhile, Marte was rushed into surgery at the MSPCA. He was only given a 30 percent chance of survival, but amazingly this little kitten beat the odds.
"Given how bad he was treated and how badly he was cared for and the suffering he went through before he came to us, I think that motivated us to go a little bit further than we might have been able to and we're really happy that we did because he's a special cat," Keiley said.
Officials say Benavides will be summonsed to court to face animal cruelty charges.
Meanwhile, anyone wanting to adopt Marte or donate to the MSPCA's emergency medical treatment fund, click here.
Click here to help other animals in need.