Published: 12:42, 15 October 2019
| Updated: 14:00, 15 October 2019
A pet owner is "devastated" after her beloved three-legged cat was shot by an air gun and had to be put down - years after losing its leg in a separate attack.
Sunny was first shot by a BB gun when he was seven-months-old - which resulted in him having his leg amputated.
Mrs Airey, 56, said she noticed her cat was missing on Thursday morning when she called him for breakfast.
Her husband, Steve, went out to search for him in the evening and noticed him lying in the garden. They thought Sunny was just sleeping but when they picked him up, they noticed something was wrong.
"His leg was paralysed and his tail was hanging where the bullet had hit the spine," she said.
"By then it was too late to take him to the vets and we couldn't afford to go to the emergency vet.
"I can’t believe people can be so cruel to a creature which is harmless..." Maxine Airey
"We took him to bed and he was still purring."
Mrs Airey took Sunny to the vets the next day to have an X-ray which found the pellet had dented the spine.
The vet said he was shot at close-range. He was concerned the poor feline was unable to urinate and kept him overnight.
But on Saturday, it was advised Sunny should be euthanised as his liver was damaged and blood was discovered in his urine.
"I went down and I held him when he was put to sleep," she said. "He was still purring.
"My worry now is what if my other cats get shot - or if a child gets shot.
Mrs Airey suffers from fibromyalgia - a long-term condition which causes pain all-over the body - while her husband is terminally ill, so there is already "a lot of stress in the house".
"It has made me feel devastated as my animals are like my children," she said.
"I can’t believe people can be so cruel to a creature which is harmless.
"I am really against guns anyway and I have signed petitions against the pellet guns - you should have a licence for them."
Kent Police said it was called at 3.30pm on Friday, October 11, to a report that a cat had been injured in the area of Lucerne Drive, Whitstable, at some point the previous day.
The cat was taken to a veterinary surgeon, who confirmed it had a pellet embedded in its body.
Witnesses or anyone with information is urged to contact Kent Police quoting reference 46/196277/19
More by this authorBrad Harper