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Jeremy and Fiona Strike mourn death of cat, Poppy, after it was shot near home in Portland Road, Gravesend

A family is mourning for a beloved cat after it was shot and had to be put down.

Jeremy Strike, 69, became worried when Poppy stumbled through the cat flap and “flopped down” indoors.

The poorly pet barely moved for the rest of the evening or the whole of the next day, so Mr Strike and his wife Fiona sought medical help.

Jeremy and Fiona Strike with another of their cats
Jeremy and Fiona Strike with another of their cats

When they took Poppy to the vet, Mr Strike believed it was “probably something minor” and was appalled when he was told Penny had a gun pellet inside her and would have to be put down.

Mr Strike said: “I was quite shocked. My wife was upset and the family were too.”

The two-year-old feline, described by Mr Strike as “loving and affectionate”, leaves behind a litter of kittens, some of whom lived with her at their home in Portland Road, Gravesend.

The crime has left a hole in the family’s wallet as well as their hearts, as the vet bills were about £1,000.

Poppy being treated
Poppy being treated

Mr Strike, a retired employee of GlaxoSmithKline, has always had a soft spot for cats and kittens.

He said: “I have had cats since I was born really. I just like their independence and companionship. We have two others living with us, but they seem okay.”

The pensioner said that he did not want to see this sort of thing happen to anybody else.

He said: “It seems so pointless to shoot them. I am angry. I have an air rifle myself but you don’t see me going round shooting cats.

“The main concern is that it doesn’t happen again.”

The incident, which happened on December 29, has been reported to the police and the RSPCA but no one has come forward with any information.

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