Two-year-old “typical moggy” cat Pip is lucky to be alive after she was shot while out in the garden of her Spalding home.
Pip was rushed to Alder Veterinary Practice in Bourne Road by her owner Marie Hardy (39) after finding her pet “growling and hissing outside her home in Woolram Wygate on Monday.
Vets examined Pip suspecting that she had been run over by a car, but an X-ray showed that an airgun pellet was lodged in her left hind leg.
Marie said: “At about 12.45pm last Monday, I opened the door for Pip to have her dinner.
“Pip usually comes straight away but this time she didn’t and I thought it was strange.
“I walked outside by the shed and saw that Pip was just lying there, not moving and just growling and hissing which I thought wasn’t right.
“Then I noticed she was dragging her leg behind her so we went to the vets and they suspected a road traffic accident like we did.
“But when they did the X-ray, they found a shotgun pellet in her leg so they did surgery on Pip but the vets couldn’t remove the pellet because it had gone in too deep.”
Police are trying to trace the shooter responsible for Pip’s narrow escape which Alder Veterinary Practice’s owner Wayne Smith admitted could have been much worse.
Mr Smith said: “The cat was walking along and dragging her left hind leg, so there was a suspicion that she had damaged the pelvis.
“Then we found that Pip had been shot in the region of her left hind leg, so my colleague Vicky Lee did the operation to try and remove the pellet because it took in a lot of debris that could have caused an infection.
“But the pellet went in too deep and we made the decision not to remove it because by trying to do so, we could cause some nerve damage to the leg.
“If Pip had been hit in the abdomen, we would have ended up having to do an acute emergency operation to save the cat so, in some ways, she was better off by being hit in the leg.”
It appears that Pip has used up one of her nine lives like her mum Bitsy who was attacked last year and left with a fractured pelvis in two places and a broken tail.
Marie said: “We don’t know why Pip was shot but it’s the second time something has happened to one of my cats after Bitsy was used as a football last year. I was so upset by what happened to Pip on Monday that my daughter had to phone the vets because I was totally and utterly devastated.”
Anyone with information should call 101, quoting incident number 216 of March 10.