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Meshach recovers as burn case stays open

I enjoyed reading Friday's story about the missing Labrador that found his way back to his family. Happy news, indeed. But one story that still haunts me is the orange cat, purposely set on fire around Christmas a couple years ago.

The cat's name was Meshach. I know that he somehow survived his injuries and was eventually adopted by a nice lady. But can you give us an update on how Meshach is doing now?

— Betty L., Ashland

We are happy to report that Meshach is wonderful, according to his smitten-kitten owner.

"I am so thankful to everyone who decided to save him," said his Talent human mom. "He's just one happy, tough little guy."

Meshach's mom has asked to remain anonymous due to the nature of Meshach's injuries — and the fact that the case against whoever burned the stray orange cat still is open with the Jackson County Sheriff's Department.

Meshach had been hanging around the home of an Eagle Point couple who had been feeding him. But on Dec. 22, 2011, the cat showed up with severe burns on his face, ears and beneath his tail.

The cat first was taken to Jackson County Animal Control, then to Best Friends Animal Shelter in Talent. Staffers named the cat Meshach in reference to the biblical character thrown into a furnace. He later was transferred to Sanctuary One Animal Shelter to continue healing.

Police concluded the fire had been started intentionally with a liquid accelerant.

A Shady Cove teen initially was charged after an acquaintance told police that the boy had bragged about setting a cat on fire. But Oregon law demands that a confession must be corroborated by independent evidence, so the case remains open.

Meanwhile, Meshach was adopted in March by the Talent woman, who read reports of his injuries and progress in the media. Healing the cat's body and spirit have required ongoing medical attention, a special diet and a lot of love, she said.

"His eyes were probably the worst," his owner said. "His vision is not impaired, even though his eyelids look inflamed. But he is opening his eyes more now. And he eats like a little trucker."

The cat is also best buddies with the couple's pooch, she added.

"He's such a love," she said. "He's just such a huge blessing for us."

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.