A 17-YEAR-OLD cat has been blinded in one eye after being shot at with a catapult.
The cat’s owner is now warning people to be aware of the dangerous weapon, after discovering that it is not classed as an offensive weapon.
Colleen Norrish, a teacher from Tadley, was away on holiday when her cat Bob was severely injured.
Her parents were looking after Bob when her dad saw a group of teenagers on the corner of Silverdale Road last Thursday, one of whom was carrying a catapult.
A few hours later, Bob was found crying, and his eye was severely injured.
Mrs Norrish said: “He was rushed to the vets and we found out he has a fracture in his cheek bone and he’s lost his sight in his right eye and we don’t know if he will have to lose his eye.”
The 29-year-old added: “He is a beautiful but old cat and he is now in critical care. He is currently in too much pain to eat and it is seeming increasingly likely that he will lose the eye. He has most definitely lost all sight in the injured eye.
"We are really worried for him as due to his age any operation to put a feeding tube in or remove the eye is going to come with a risk that we still might lose him.
“Me and my husband are in bits about this and so shocked that anyone could do this to an animal.”
Mrs Norrish posted an appeal on social media asking for witnesses, and has received numerous responses from other people in the Tadley area who have experienced problems with youngsters using sling-shots.
She said: “One lady had something pinged towards her daughter and it hit her daughter’s leg. Others have had them pointed at their faces. The police said they have had quite a few reports and have put leaflets through people’s doors asking people to report children seen with catapults.
“I think you have to be 18 to buy one but you can be any age to have one.
"They aren’t seen as an offensive weapon.”
She is now trying to raise awareness of the issue to prevent other animals, or people, from being injured, adding: “What on earth are kids doing with something that should be classed as an offensive weapon? It’s extremely worrying.”
Bob returned home on Tuesday and was starting to eat, but is still unable to see out of his right eye.
Mrs Norrish said: “It’s heartbreaking. Catching whoever is responsible will not make Bob better but it might stop them hurting or killing someone else’s beloved pet.”
Police confirmed that they received a report of a cat being injured between 3pm and 6pm on February 18 after being hit with a catapult.
Leaflets were dropped to various roads in the area asking for people to come forward with information. Anyone with information is asked to contact PCSO Aimee Scott-Molloy on 101 quoting 44160072673.