BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A cat burned alive is recovering after animal rescuers say it was doused in fuel and then set on fire.

Derek Valcourt has more on the disturbing story.

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It’s the kind of story that makes you cringe. It’s the city’s first animal cruelty case of the year.

Mittens the cat has a lot to meow about. She’s alive after a harrowing ordeal at the hands of a juvenile.

“She was intentionally set on fire, doused with lighter fluid, thrown in a milk crate and then a match was thrown on her,” said Mary Helfrich of Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter.

There’s massive third- and fourth-degree burns on her back and side and severe trauma to her ears, but despite it all, vets expect Mittens will recover.

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“She’s a little worse for the wear. Her ears will probably fall off, and she will heal. If you note, she is growing some hair back, but her medication is taking care of her. It’s long term,” Helfrich said.

Two 17-year-olds have been arrested and charged as juveniles for the attack on Mittens. Animal shelter rescuers say it happened back on Jan. 8 in the 3300-block of Saint Ambrose Avenue in West Baltimore.

“From the report it looks as though she ran out of the milk crate, down the alley, extinguished herself, and then she came back to find her kittens,” Helfrich said.

Yes, Mittens is a mama. Her three kittens were born before her serious burns. And despite her injuries, vets say she’s still taking excellent care of her family.

It’s a happier ending than the story of Phoenix–the puppy that was set on fire in West Baltimore in 2009 and died shortly after. The criminal animal abuse trial for accused brothers Travers and Tremaine Johnson resumes at the city courthouse on Monday.

Recovery for Mittens is expected to take a couple of months.

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