Ramsay is a beautiful seven year old male tabby cat and was enjoying the first of the spring sunshine, strolling through the fields behind his house on Monday morning. When his owner came home, Ramsay was not at any of the normal vantage points he used to survey his territory. When his owner went in search of him, Ramsay ran straight past him and into the house. This was very out of character so his owner followed him into the house to find the cause of his cat’s unusual behaviour.

On close examination, he found that Ramsay had a very small but deep puncture wound to his neck. Ramsay was quiet and lethargic. A glance out of the lounge window at the fields behind the house revealed a couple of young lads at the far side of the field, walking along the banks of the stream carrying air rifles.

With not a moment of delay, Ramsay was scooped up and rushed to the surgery at Maple Street where we examined him and admitted him for X-rays. Ramsay was placed on a drip to help to support his circulation and anaesthetised to be X-rayed.

Sure enough, the X-rays revealed an airgun pellet. The pellet had travelled from the entry site on his neck, under his skin towards his head where it had lodged deep under the base of his skull beside the balance centres of his middle ear. From the angle at which the pellet had progressed, we could tell that poor Ramsay was running away at the time of the incident.

Miraculously the pellet seems to have bypassed all the important nerve and blood vessel structures in that area. Because the pellet was lodged beside these vital structures, the decision was taken to avoid the risk of further damage during an attempt to remove it so Ramsay is being treated with drugs to control infection and stabilise his shock. We hope that he will be going home in the next couple of days.

Last year we had over 20 cats brought to the surgery having been shot by air gun pellets. Air guns are not toys and the pellets cause a huge amount of damage, pain and suffering. Shooting a cat is an act of cowardly animal cruelty. If you know someone with an airgun, please tell them the story of Ramsay who certainly did not deserve his injuries.