EIGHTEEN-month-old Jaffa looks the essence of feline contentment in the attached picture, relaxing in the sun outside his home in Rothesay.
But if you look at our photograph a little more closely, you’ll see Jaffa has a scar on his underbelly – a lasting reminder of the day he was shot with an air gun.
Jaffa’s owner, Maureen Reid, contacted us this week to tell us Jaffa’s story – and to say, only half in jest, that she still had the air gun pellet if the person responsible wanted it back.
“About a fortnight ago he came in through the back door covered in blood,” Maureen, who lives in Ardbeg Road, told The Buteman.
“It was coming from what looked like a stab wound – it was more than just a puncture.
“We took him to the vet, who told us to keep an eye on him.
“Then, eight days or so later we discovered a lump on his underside, which turned out to be an airgun pellet.
“The pellet has since been removed, and I’ll give it back if the person who did this wants it.”
Happily, as our picture shows, Jaffa appears to be none the worse for his experience.
Maureen, however, is still at a loss to understand why someone would shoot a domestic cat.
“His problem his that he’s just too friendly,” she continued.
“I can appreciate that not everyone likes cats, but you don’t have to be cruel to them – you can chase them away without doing them any damage.
“His problem is that he’s too friendly – he’s an easy target.”
Last month we reported on two incidents elsewhere in Rothesay in which cats had died as a result of ingesting anti-freeze - though as far as we know it’s not yet clear whether the animals were deliberately poisoned, or whether they drank the liquid by accident.
“I think some people just aren’t bothered when it comes to cats,” Maureen added. “I know some people don’t like them, but I don’t see why there’s a need to be so cruel.”