Cat shot by ‘high-pow­ered ri­fle’

Marlborough Express - - FRONT PAGE -

Con­cerned cat own­ers are on high alert af­ter a cat was shot in a res­i­den­tial suburb of Blen­heim last week, fol­low­ing years of cat at­tacks and bizarre dis­ap­pear­ances in the area.

Bet­tina Fratu­celli said her cat Poura was shot ‘‘in the mid­dle of the day’’ in Red­wood­town last Thurs­day. He ‘‘limped’’ back home on Fri­day morn­ing.

‘‘He’s lucky he sur­vived, oth­er­wise he would have just been another cat that dis­ap­peared and no-one would have known what hap­pened,’’ Fratu­celli said.

Fratu­celli said Poura was not the first cat to be at­tacked in the area. She said her neigh­bours had lost two cats this year, and another cat owned by Fratu­celli, called Puss Puss, was shot by a pel­let gun two-and-a-half years ago.

‘‘There [are] so many peo­ple com­ing for­ward say­ing they live on How­ick St or they’re liv­ing in Red­wood­town and have lost cats who just dis­ap­peared,’’ Fratu­celli said.

‘‘In that block be­tween Ren­wick and Bythell St, cats are just dis­ap­pear­ing con­tin­u­ously. Some­body out there is def­i­nitely killing cats and shoot­ing guns.’’

Poura was taken to Spring­lands Vet on Fri­day ‘‘in a lot of pain’’, where she was treated by Nigel Nes­bit.

Nes­bit said the bul­let went in be­tween the shoul­der and chest. ‘‘We su­tured up what we could and put a drain in to try and min­imise in­fec­tion and long-term dam­age.’’

Nes­bit said at­tacks on fe­lines were not un­com­mon – Poura be­ing the sec­ond case in the past two weeks.

‘‘The two re­cent ones and this one in par­tic­u­lar would have had to be quite high­pow­ered ri­fles,’’ Nes­bit said.

‘‘The one I saw two weeks ago the bul­let had gone straight through the cat, so you’re not talk­ing slugs and shot­guns, you’re talk­ing 22s and above. It had to be a high-pow­ered ri­fle to do it. It’s a cal­lous, stupid, lazy, hor­ri­ble thing to do.’’

Fratu­celli said Poura was brought home from the vet on Mon­day, but she was con­cerned about his safety.

‘‘For now he’s def­i­nitely pulling through. But there’s no say­ing that we’re not go­ing to lose him in the fu­ture if that per­son is not found.’’

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