The owner of a one-year-old cat who was shot by an air weapon in an Aberdeenshire village has spoken of her family’s shock after they realised what had happened.
The Dundas family’s cat Nox went missing from their home in Logie Coldstone on Monday, and was not seen until he turned up at the door out of the blue late on Thursday night.
Delight at his return turned to confusion when Nox refused to eat his food, and would hiss with pain when he was stroked.
Oldest daughter Kirsty, who is a student vet nurse, sensed something was wrong.
Mum Pauline Dundas said: “She thought he had ticks, but when she looked closer he had small wounds with blood round about them, so she had to shave him, and she found 14 small wounds.
“Initially we couldn’t figure out what it was, then my husband said it looks as though he’s been shot.
“And we thought, goodness, we better get it checked before any further damage happened.
“Kirsty contacted her vets’ practice, they saw him the next morning and x-rayed him, and he had 20 pellets inside.”
She added: “You can’t actually believe that it’s happened, and that he’s managed to crawl back and he’s still here.”
During emergency surgery on Saturday morning, the vets managed to remove two pellets, but the rest had penetrated too far in to reach.
Nox will return to the practice tomorrow, where surgeons will try to remove the remaining shots – including those that have lodged close to his spine.
Pauline, her husband Sinclair, and daughters Katie, 16, and Kirsty, 19, brought Nox into their home – which also includes two other cats, two dogs and four horses – last year.
Pauline said: “The reason we got him as a kitten is because we lost a cat last year.
“He went away and he never came back, so I don’t know if the same thing has happened to him.”
Thankfully, Nox has now started to eat again and is firmly on the road to recovery.
In a post on their Facebook page, local charity Deeside and Kincardine Cats Protection Scotland wrote: “This is unacceptable. A poor defenceless animal. If anyone knows or hears anything please contact the police or SSPCA.
“It’s a small community so someone will probably know something and no doubt the person responsible will not be able to keep this ‘story’ to themselves.”
The charity added that, while they hoped the attack was an isolated incident and would not happen again, “it is imperative that the perpetrator who can use a shotgun on a cat receives lawful justice”.
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Officers received a report of a cat having been shot with an air weapon in the Logie Coldstone area around 11.10am on Saturday, 3 July, 2021.
“Enquiries into the incident are ongoing.”
Cats Protection Scotland urged people with information to contact CrimeStoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, the police on 101 or the SSPCA on 03000 999 999.