A Caistor family are still reeling after coming back from holiday and finding their beloved cat Ferguson (Fergie) with a wound thought to be caused by a gun pellet.
Paul Frankish and his partner Sam Mansfield arrived back at their home on Nettleton Road at about 2.30am last Friday - and they instantly knew something was wrong.
Paul said: “I walked in the house and there was blood on the carpet and a bit of fur.
“There was blood on the sofa so I thought Fergie had caught a big bird or something.
“Then he came out from behind the TV - he never goes behind the TV.I looked behind there and there was blood all over the wall and the skirting boards.
“His fur was matted up and blood was still coming out so the wound was still fairly fresh - the incident must have only happened an hour before.
“I thought he might have caught himself on barbed wire.
“It was my friend who said do you think Fergie has been shot and I just thought no - nobody could do that.”
Paul and Sam rushed Fergie to Abbey Veterinary Centre, in Grimsby, once the practice had opened to find out what had happened to Fergie.
A spokesman from Abbey Veterinary Centre told the Market Rasen Mail: “Fergie was brought to see us last Friday.
“He had been refusing all food and drink and was feeling very lethargic.
“There was a wound on his side which had been bleeding but had stopped by the time he arrived at the surgery.
“A pellet entry wound was found on his left flank. This was cleaned and disinfected.
“Radiographs of his abdomen were taken and a pellet was discovered in the mid-abdomen.
“A pellet in that position carries a high risk of perforation of the bowel which would be very serious and life-threatening.
“The damage done by a pellet can only be known for certain if an operation to remove the pellet and explore the damage has been performed.
“An operation to explore the damage and retrieve the pellet was discussed, but we opted to treat Fergie to relieve pain, to control infection and monitor his progress rather than to proceed immediately to surgery.
“Fergie has been hospitalised and treated over the weekend. He is thankfully feeling much better with no evidence of intestinal leakage, therefore, we are hopeful that he will survive this cruel incident. Our experience is that there are a certain number of people who seem to feel it appropriate to target cats with their air guns.
“If Fergie survives with no ongoing problems, this will be due - in part - to sheer good luck as well as prompt pain relief and infection control.”
Fergie is now at home with Paul and Sam but they have both been left wondering who could have shot Fergie.
Paul said: “There are three or four houses down the street where Fergie will visit for treats and food
“Everyone just cannot believe that someone would do this - he is such a nice cat
“At that time of night the person must have been waiting for Fergie. I had my six-year-old with me as well. He lives with his mum and he keeps asking his mum ‘when is Fergie going to be better?’.
“Fergie is now eating and the vet says that is a positive sign. It is still 50/50 - he is definitely not out of the woods yet but he is alert.”
A Lincolnshire Police spokesman said: “I can confirm there was a report that a cat had been shot with an air rifle. This was reported to have happened between 11.30pm and 2am on July 19 in the Nettleton Road area of Caistor.”
A JustGiving page has been set up to raise £1,000 for Fergie’s operation. To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/helpfergie