Though Sweetie Pie’s attacker is still at large, the feline’s horrific story has a happy ending

By Karen J. Quan
Updated December 08, 2009 02:07 AM

The story of Sweetie Pie, the black cat who was brutally attacked with acid on Halloween, touched the hearts of many – from the metro Atlanta area, where she was found, to concerned citizens in California. But the strong survivor needed look no further than the good old Peach State to find her forever home.

Officially adopted on Nov. 14, Sweetie (pictured at right) is adjusting beautifully into the warm and loving home of Kirsten Hagman and TK Thornton of Woodstock, Ga. Hagman, an unemployed social worker, and her husband, an assistant manager in finance, first read about Sweetie Pie’s story through local online news reports. They were one of the first couples to express interest in adopting the kitten.

“As soon as I saw her picture I knew I wanted this cat,” Hagman tells “I want her to come and be a part of our family.”

Deborah Smith-Callahan, a volunteer with the Georgia-based Peach State Pet Partners, who helped rescue the feline, could tell from Hagman’s initial inquiry that there was something special about this couple. Not only did the cat lover send a lengthy letter detailing her hopes and desires for Sweetie Pie, she attached a recent photo Christmas card that prominently featured all three of their cats.

“Any time you see someone include their pets on a Christmas card,” Smith-Callahan admits, “You really know that pets are members of the family. And that’s what we wanted.”

Despite Hagman’s concern about Sweetie Pie’s ability to trust and show affection for humans following her attack, all fears were put to rest during their first meeting. She was playful and energetic, and even let both her potential parents hold her. She had no reservations about cozying up to the couple.

Sure to keep her new parents active, Sweetie Pie will have plenty of new playmates to show her the ropes. The now 10-week-old kitten will join felines Izzy and Wilson (both 10 years old) and Meiko, 4, in her new home. While Hagman admits that the sibling introductions weren’t as warm and friendly as she would have liked, the new siblings warmed up to each other, accepting each other’s presence and place in the home.

With Sweetie Pie’s attacker still at large, the Humane Society of the United States has established a $2,500 reward for any information leading up to the arrest for the persons responsible for this attack. No leads have been reported yet, but Smith-Callahan is just glad that the young cat was able to find a warm, loving family.

“It was a very, very happy ending from our perspective,” said Smith-Callahan, adding that the donations Peach State Pet Partners received not only helped fund Sweetie Pie’s care, but also other rescues in their care. “She’s just fitting in very nicely to the household, and everybody’s just crazy about her.”