A cat which suffered chemical burns to 60 per cent of its body causing its black-and-white fur to fall out is recovering and its coat is growing back.
Two-year-old Hades has been nursed back to health at a PDSA PetAid hospital.
But Hades' owners are still in the dark about how their pet was injured.
It left the family home in Lingdale, in Cleveland, in late October and did not return for 48 hours. When it came back the family were shocked by its appearance.
Owner Moira Watson-Pickering said: "The whole family was so relieved when he turned up, even though he was covered in mud and looked a bit scruffy. But we quickly became very concerned when we tried to clean him up; his fur started falling out in large clumps and we could see his skin was bright red underneath."
Hades, named after the Greek god of the underworld, was taken to the PDSA hospital in Middlesbrough.
Head vet nurse Steph Williams said: "Large patches of his fur had fallen out, revealing red raw skin underneath that looked to be the result of a chemical burn. Hades also had visible sores on his nose and mouth, perhaps as a result of trying to clean himself and lick off whatever substance had caused the damage."
The cat was given pain relief and sedated while its remaining fur was clipped away so injuries could be treated.
The burns spread along Hades' back from neck to tail, down the sides of its body including the shoulders, hind legs and parts of the tummy.
Hades needed constant care and had to be treated with a gel and gauze dressing to keep its skin moist. The dressings meant only Hades' head, legs and tails were peeping out.
Once home, Hades had to be kept in a recovery cage to limit its movement, and return to PDSA every other day. Just before Christmas Hades coat began to grow back.
Moira said: "He looks a little bit like a patchwork quilt at the moment, but he's definitely on the mend. We thought his character might have changed as a result of his ordeal, but he's still incredibly loving and friendly.
"We're just so relieved that he survived and I don't know what we would've done without PDSA; Hades wouldn't have been with us for Christmas that's for certain."