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Seven lives remain

RHIANNON HORRELL
Last updated 05:00 02/02/2011
spca
Jason Oxenham

CLOSE CALL: Gabriel Hay, 4, and his mother Megan are pleased their cat Kevin survived an ordeal which left him confined to a cage for seven weeks to allow his pelvis to heal.

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Kevin the cat has used two of his nine lives and survived his latest ordeal – being shot with a crossbow.

The one-year-old British blue cat was rushed to the vet in December after he was discovered with puncture marks near his back legs, a broken pelvis and a dislocated tail.

"One night he came in the cat door about 10.30pm dragging his tail," owner Megan Hay says. "I thought he had been hit by a car. He was in a bad way.

"But it wasn't consistent with injuries caused by a car. There were puncture marks," she says.

The Mt Eden resident says the vet was initially stumped by Kevin's injuries but had heard of crossbow incidents in the area.

She believes Kevin was shot while on the road and says someone must have stood on his tail to get the arrow out.

"He freezes when he's scared – like a rabbit. I thought he might have internal bleeding. They told us at one stage there was a 90 percent chance he would lose his tail."

Fortunately, Kevin's tail was saved but Mrs Hay hasn't told her children about the nature of the injury.

"It's such a despicable thing to do. I don't know who would think that it's fun. He's a young cat so will heal easily I hope. He's a lovely cat, very gentle."

The crossbow injury cost $1700 in vet bills and was Kevin's second mishap in six months.

He fell off the fence and broke his leg on the family's barbecue in October and required pins in his leg which cost $3000.

"He doesn't have very good balance. He's quite odd. My husband calls him `the mutant'," Mrs Hay says.

SPCA executive director Bob Kerridge has heard of cats and ducks being shot with a crossbow.

"It's not epidemic proportions but there have been incidents in the last few years. A missile as large as a crossbow arrow can cause a lot of damage.

"We discover these things afterwards but there is somebody who is behind it. What sort of person would this be?

"If it is deliberate the person would not be hanging around to check that the cat is okay. Under the Animal Welfare Act the person could certainly be prosecuted.

"It causes pain and distress and it's a horrible thing to do – the person would have to be a little bit mental."

Mrs Hay has warned her neighbours about the incident and Kevin now sleeps inside at night.

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- Central Leader

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