Shotgun leaves 25 pellets in Maine Coon cat

CRAVEN DISTRICT OF NORTH YORKSHIRE, UK - NEWS AND VIEWS: Norman is an 18-month-old Maine Coon. He went outside on Saturday morning and returned 27 hours later on Sunday. He managed to get home despite being shot with what is believed to be a doublebarrelled shotgun because of the number of pellets inside him. Yes, he had 25 pellets inside him some of them were quite deep and too difficult to remove.

Norman and X-ray
Norman and X-ray. Photo (left) Josie Simpson. Right: veterinarian's X-ray.

When his owners saw him they thought he had been hit by a car. They found him on the stairs. They don't know how he managed to get home. When he was touched he cried out in pain. He couldn't walk properly and couldn't move his tail.

They rushed him to the veterinary clinic. He was x-rayed and the 25 lead pellets were seen inside him. Josie Simpson is shocked and devastated. They've spoken to the press because they want to raise awareness of the sick-minded people who may be shooting cats in the area where Josie lives.

Seven pellets couldn't be removed because they were lodged too deep inside of him. They also decided to leave some of the pellets in his tail to avoid nerve damage when removing them. But they have to decide whether to try and remove them in the future or have his tail amputated.

He's doing quite well but he is depressed and his owners are of course heartbroken. The vet was pleased with Norman's progress at his checkup.

X-ray of Norman the Maine Coon shot with a double barreled shotgun
X-ray of Norman the Maine Coon shot with a double barreled shotgun. Image: Josie Simpson.

Josie said, "It's worrying that they could do that to someone else's pet. He's not a fox and is not very threatening so we are confused as to who would have shot him."

Apparently his claws were worn down which indicates that he may have been trapped and struggled to escape. In the last six months three other cats have gone missing in the area. Josie thinks that they might have been stolen but also that they might have been shot dead and disposed of.

Comment: of course I'm incredibly sympathetic but I don't like the way she implies that shooting foxes is okay. Did I misread her? Foxes are as important as domestic cats, even Maine Coons. They are all sentient creatures with equal value. I do not subscribe to the idea that foxes are pests and vermin. 

It is unusual for a Maine Coon to be abused like this. Of course, to the criminal who did this they wouldn't know whether they are shooting at a Maine Coon or any other type of cat. I've always believed that if you have a really nice purebred cat that you should keep the cat inside at all times and construct an enclosure to allow the cat some freedoms to allow him to behave as natural as possible. I don't think you should let a purebred cat go outside. Not in the UK because there are too many stories of cats being stolen and being abused.

And Josie is right: there are some very sick shits around in the UK. It'll be a miracle if law enforcement catch the maniac. Evidence is the barrier. It is just so hard to obtain sound evidence. I'd start with a local farmer if there is one. In the UK, who has license to possess a double barreled shotgun other than a farmer?

The story was published on the Express website on Fri, Feb 26, 2021.

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