Penny, a lucky black cat from Northampton, has won an award for her bravery after surviving gunshot at close range.
The Duston-based feline recovered in just under three months from being shot in the face as a kitten.
Her owner, Claire Pell, aged 30,discovered her pet was injured when she returned home and found a trail of blood that led to an injured Penny lying under a spare bed.
“When I saw the huge pool of blood, I went in to meltdown mode.
“Penny suddenly ran downstairs and when I saw her I thought I was going to be sick."
Claire was in a state of shock and managed to get her mum to call her local veterinary practice, Abington Park in Northamptonshire.
Penny was rushed over to the 24-hour vets, given pain relief and assessed. Realising that Penny needed specialist care due to her serious injuries, she had to be transferred to Willows Surgery in Birmingham immediately the next day for a three-hour surgery to assess the root of the damage.
“At this point we still had no idea what had happened to Penny.
“Because she was still active and trying to avoid being fussed with, the vet took it as a good sign that there were no obvious internal injuries to her major organs.
“It wasn’t until she went in to surgery that they discovered she had a hole in the corner of her eye but with no exit wound.”
The vets confirmed that not only had Penny been shot but that the bullet was lodged in her brain. The shy and timid cat who wasn’t ‘the sort to investigate’ had, vets believe, been shot intentionally at close range.
Sadly vets could not save Penny’s eye however - even though the pellet is permanently lodged in her head - she is now the picture of health, having recovered quickly at home with the help of her 'sister', Flo.
Claire said: “In a strange way it’s brought us closer together. She’s more affectionate, wanting cuddles often, and seems to appreciate that I’m trying to look after her – that I’m not just that random woman who lives in her house.”
Penny and Claire have been awarded an exclusive £50 voucher from their local Pet Hut in Northampton after entering a competition on Facebook.
Others who have won an award include a feather-plucking parrot who overcame neglect and the loss of his toes, a border collie who bravely protected their owner from a violent husband, a puppy who survived falling from Beachy Head cliff, and a paralysed kitten who learned to walk again in just six weeks
Anyone with information about the attack on Penny, can contact police on 101.