A stray cat who faced an agonising death from an untreated head wound has been brought back to health thanks to a community effort.
Sardine was rescued by a group of 15 people who spotted pink flesh gaping through his jet black fur.
They rallied round and paid the £600 cost of intensive treatment, where nurses changed his bandages every few hours around the clock.
He was nursed back to health and has now been adopted by Joanne Evans, 40, who runs a local rescue centre in Ashley.
She said: “I’ve taken in lots of the cats over the years and sometimes one just gets you. I just fell in love with him.”
Sardine was treated by Lida Vets in Newmarket. Dr Josh Lida said: “He is certainly one of the worst cases we have seen, in a lot of pain. It was really heartwarming to see the community join together and help Sardine.
“It’s hard to tell how old he is, but we think he is fairly young. He had these eyes that just said ‘help me’, which shows he is not an old cat.
“At first we were changing bandages that were wet on the inside, to help build the flesh up, every few hours.
“Our nurses worked round the clock. It was shocking, his flesh around his neck and jawline had just rotted away, you could actually see the muscles.”