Cat was shot "full on in the face" by shotgun says owner, whilst killer is still at large
A Redlingfield cat was shot “full on in the face” by a shotgun, according to its owner, as more details emerged about last week’s disturbing attack.
The black and white Tom cat, named White Toes, was shot by a shotgun in Mill Road on Sunday, May 9, before returning to its owners, limping and covered in blood, where it was taken to a veterinary surgery to be put down.
Despite initial police reports saying that the cat was shot 20 times, White Toes is believed to have been shot just once, with a shotgun cartridge containing dozens of pellets.
X-ray images show more than 50 shotgun pellets lodged inside the cat’s body. Given the high concentration of pellets inside the cat’s skull and frontal region, White Toes’ owner, Janet Norman-Philips, and the veterinary surgeon that put the cat down both reasoned that he was shot from head on.
Ms Norman-Philips, who is also clerk for Redlingfield Parish Council, said: “It could have been an accident, but it’s highly unlikely – he was shot full on in the face, and he doesn’t look like a rabbit or a pigeon.
“I can’t imagine that someone with a shotgun would make that kind of mistake. Maybe some kid with a pellet gun might shoot at anything that moved, but people with licensed shotguns just don’t do that.
“According to the vet, he would have been in absolute agony as there are so many pellets. So much damage had been done that there was no option but to put him to sleep.
“He was riddled with shotgun pellets in his eye, head and neck, several in his lungs, and in his back and legs.
“Given the state he was in, they were surprised he had managed to drag himself home.
“I can’t imagine what kind of evil person would do this to a defenceless animal.”
White Toes, who was between eight and 10 years old, was a well-known and much-loved cat around the village of Redlingfield.
Ms Norman-Phillips said: “White Toes adopted us about five years ago, he just turned up and never left.
“He was a regular visitor to lots of people in the village.
“He was never aggressive. Once I’d given him his food, I’d have to keep our other three cats away, otherwise they would just steal it from him and he let them. All four of them would sit together in the garden, basking in the sun and watching the birds.
“He wasn’t even a hunter – since the flooding earlier in the year, all of us around here have had rats coming in to the gardens looking for food, and White Toes would just watch them – he never chased them. Obviously he was too well fed and disinclined to be bitten.”
The shooter is still at large, and Suffolk Police have urged anyone with any information to contact them, quoting the crime reference number 37/25906/20.
The killing took place exactly a week after a similar incident in Bressingham, where a cat was shot and killed, thought to be from head on, by an air rifle or BB gun.
In the United Kingdom, air rifles and BB guns can be acquired freely, whereas shotguns require a valid licence, suggesting that the two incidents were not related.