Everyone who knows me, and has seen my work, knows I am a huge advocate of keeping cats indoors. My books, House Cat and Indoor Cats, have won writing awards, I have been contacted by Animal Planet and big name publishers, and had my work showcased in anthologies.
So, it makes sense that my first thought when reading this story was, "Why did they allow this cat outside?" Apparently, South Africa has not caught up with the indoor cat movement.
Don't feel for the owner, feel for the cat! Helen Maritz wanted a cat, but her husband was "not a cat person." Being allergic to cats did not help (her son, as well, is allergic). Siberian Forest Cats are known to be "hypoallergenic" and good for people with allergies.
So, Mrs. Maritz decided to spend R5000 to have a Siberian Forest Cat imported from Cape Town to her home in Johannesburg.
On Halloween day, Mr. Maritz stated he heard a Bang! and saw the cat run. He thought at first the cat had been spooked by a firecracker. But it became apparent this was not the case when the cat began vomiting and was bleeding.
Corrie - Martiz's husband - heard a bang but when he saw Duke running through the garden he thought the cat had been scared by a firework. But Duke was in bad shape - bleeding and vomiting - and Corrie rushed him to a vet.
Veterinarian Cliff Meyer said the bullet "entered Duke on the right, damaged the lung lobe, traumatised the lobe of the liver, nicked the stomach wall and the pancreas, split the spleen and then lodged on the cat's left chest wall". [source]
Meyer said he has not seen a cat shot with anything other than a pellet gun in at least 15 years.
"It is the worst case I have seen in years," he said, adding that Duke was lucky to have survived. Sadly, it wasn't for long.
He said Duke had been shot at close range and from above - the bullet had followed a downward trajectory.
Cats shot by pellet guns are most often the victims of neighbours who keep pigeons or other birds on which the cats prey, Meyer said.
Two days later, the cat passed away. For the cat's sake, I hope they find who did this and give them the electric chair! For the next cat's sake, I hope the Maritz's learn to keep their next cat indoors!