Cat's body peppered with 26 pellets from shotgun blast
- Credit: Lucy MacGregor
A "remarkable" one-year-old cat is recovering at home after being riddled with 26 pellets from a suspected shotgun blast near Ipswich.
Simba, the Siberian/Norwegian forest cat-cross, returned bloodied and exhausted to his Tuddenham St Martin home after a short spell outside last Friday afternoon.
Having initially suspected the blood came from a catfight, owner Lucy MacGregor was shocked to later discover that Simba's body was peppered with shotgun pellets.
Ms MacGregor, who was working from home at her High Street address when Simba left shortly after 4pm, said: "He was only gone for just over 10 minutes before coming back and collapsing in his bed.
"He had blood on his side and I thought he may have been in a fight, but he couldn't walk on his hindquarters.
"I took him to the vet and they found puncture wounds in his lower region. Then an X-ray showed me how many pellets that poor boy had in his body."
Ms MacGregor, 55, praised the "brilliant" care provided to Simba by Wickham Market's Saxon Vets.
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She said the incident has been reported to Suffolk police and the RSPCA.
Ms MacGregor, who described Simba as a remarkable and resilient cat, added: "The vets are keeping a very close eye on him. He's not out of the woods.
"I'm told he was very lucky because the pellets hadn't struck any internal organs or bones.
"They said Simba could have been hit about 100ft away because the greater the distance, the greater the spread of pellets.
"I'm told he's going to have to live with the pellets inside him because to remove them would be too intrusive.
"I would never want to think someone in the vicinity would do such a thing on purpose.
"The only witnesses to this are Simba and the person with the gun – and Simba can't talk. I hope and pray it was just and accident."
If you can help police establish what happened, call 101, quoting reference number 25191/21.