This is the miracle cat, Carbonelle, from Limavady who survived a horrific gun attack in Limavady.
Police are investigating and believe the cat may have been shot by an air rifle.
And now the owner of the 21-month-old rescue pet is warning others and appealing for information to catch the culprit.
Louise McArthur said she is “horrified” at what happened to Carbonelle on Monday night in the Meadowvale Park/Scroggy Road area.
“On Monday, Carbonelle was outside with my husband at around quarter to nine. She was fine, just her usual self. My husband came in and she was still outside. About an hour later, Carbonelle came in and she had a puncture wound and was covered in blood. She was really disorientated and very anxious. She was almost lethargic. We took her to the vet and he looked at her and said she had a deep puncture wound, but he couldn’t tell what it was until further inspection.”
After an X-ray, they discovered Carbonelle had been shot in the face.
It’s an absolute miracle she has survived and we are very lucky to have her at home with us.Louise McArthur
“I was quite shocked, and when we saw the X-ray you could see where the bullet was fragmented. It can’t be removed because of where it is at the top of the spine. To remove it would put her at more risk. It means she is going to have to have fairly regular check-ups, and we will need to keep a close eye on her and watch for any signs of change in her.
“She’ll be two in August so, essentially, she is still a kitten. I’m very sad this has happened and I would like to think it would not happen again, that it was a horrific one-off incident. It’s an absolute miracle she has survived and we are very lucky to have her at home with us.”
Louise, who owns two other cats, said Carbonelle isn’t the cat she used to be.
“She is very subdued and it’s a struggle to get her to eat,” said Louise, who is scared to let Carbonelle and her other two cats out of her sight.
“I hope whoeever did this sees the story and realises the distress that it has caused and how traumatic it has been. I am an adult and I found it upsetting - imagine if a young child had witnessed this? It’s a horrible experience.”
Louise, originally from Bexleyheath in Kent, explained Carbonelle was a rescue cat from a shelter in Kent.
“She was found under a bush, and when we moved over here we brought her with us. She’s had a rough little life,” said Louise.
Police have appealed for information about the incident and urge anyone with information about the incident of animal cruelty to contact Limavady Police Station on then on-emergency number 101.
Louise paid heartfelt thanks to staff at Roe Valley Veterinary Clinic in Limavady, and to local police.