A friendly cat has found a new loving home after surviving being shot in the face.
“Sweet and affectionate” feline Oak is believed to have lived with an air rifle pellet lodged in his face for years before he was found in the Isle of Sheppey, Kent.
People living in the Elmley area grew concerned for his welfare and he was taken into the care of Cats Protection, which is appealing for supporters to help fund his vet treatment.
Kim Braysher, Swale Welfare Team Lead said: “One resident offered to help trap him so we could have him checked and treated by a vet, who suspected that he’d been clipped by a car at some point as he had teeth missing on the same side as an injured leg.
“Sadly, the leg injury was quite old and it had self-healed, leaving him arthritic, hence the limp.”
Oak, now around eight years old, was very friendly and sought attention, so the volunteers decided to place him with a fosterer to prepare for adoption.
While giving him affection, his fosterer found a lump below his cheek.
“This is when our mouths fell open,” Ms Braysher said. “It’s not often we are blindsided by a cat but Oak had us all gaping in shock.
“The vet discovered that the lump wasn’t cancerous, as we had feared. In fact, it was shrapnel from an air rifle pellet. Poor Oak had been shot in the cheek.”
Thankfully, the vet was able to remove the pellet, clean up the wound and prepare Oak to recuperate in the loving care of a Cats Protection fosterer.
“We were shocked and saddened by his injury, but since being treated and coming into care he has been very sweet and affectionate,” Ms Braysher added.
“He was just a nervous stray who wouldn’t allow the feeders to get near to him. We are confident that he will become a very loved member of his new family.”
Donations towards the vet bills for Oak and other cats under the care of Cats Protection’s Swale Branch can be made on the Cats Protection Swale | Facebook page.