A heavily pregnant cat was left in sticky mess after cruel pranksters who dumped her in a vat – of hot tar.
The black and white moggy called Lilly was just two weeks away from giving birth when she was dunked in the black substance.
Lilly was spotted by a concerned member of the public hobbling along a street in Nazeing, Essex.
The tar had solidified on its fur severely restricting the cat’s movement leaving it looking like a “walking fossil”.
Horrifically she was also in extreme agony as the tar had burnt large parts of her skin and caused clumps of fur to drop off her body.
It had also collected on her legs making her paws appear they were double their normal size.
The cat was taken to animal groomers Mister Groom, were staff spent three hours removing the tar with a special heavy duty cleaner called Swarfega.
Amazingly the animal has now made a full recovery and has been returned to her owners – who do not want to be named.
Linda Forsyth, who runs Mister Groom, said it was the ”worst thing she had ever seen done to an animal”.
She said: “Whoever did this to the poor thing deserves to have it done to them. I can’t understand how anyone could be so cruel.
“I could not believe the state of the poor thing when it was brought into us.
“The tar had solidified on its body and it could barley move – it was just meowing in pain and distress.
“We have been in business for 30 years and I have never seen anything like it.”
When Lilly was discovered her entire belly and legs were cacked in the tar which had also collected dozens of leaves, twigs and debris.
Expert Groomer Catherine Tranter was one of the workers who spent hours arduously cleaning the poor creature.
She said: “It was just so bad. I have never seen anytime like it. I suppose she looked a bit like walking fossil.
“Her paws appeared as though they had doubled in size because they were covered in so much tar.
“Lilly must have dunked in hot tar as it hard burnt large parts of her skin. She was in so much pain but was as good as gold when we cleaned her up.
“She could have scratched but she just sat there – she must have been so relieved to get all that muck off.
“Luckily she is back with her owner and will hopefully have a nice a health litter of kittens.”