By Lauren Gelling
IF cats really do have nine lives, then this poor moggy only has seven left.
After previously surviving four airgun shots, Tootsie the cat has been fired at for a second time.
At the start of this week, owner Eileen Leckie, 35, from Whitburn, found a small lump on the black feline’s stomach after bathing her.
She said: “When I was drying Tootsie I noticed a tiny, solid lump underneath her belly. She was going absolutely berserk when you touched it. “
On Wednesday, Tootsie had to undergo an operation at the PDSA PetAid hospital in Edinburgh to remove the pellet.
It was a case of history repeating itself for Mrs Leckie, and her husband Peter, 40.
In 2008, seven-year-old Tootsie and her brother Gizmo were the victims of horrific attacks just one month apart from each other.
The shootings resulted in nine-year-old Gizmo losing a kidney and left poor Tootsie with a shattered leg.
Mrs Leckie, a stay-at-home mum, said: “We were worried that she wasn’t going to get through it; there’s only so many times a cat can get shot and come back.
“The vet said the pellet was just under the skin and no more but at the back of your mind you’re thinking, ‘I don’t want to lose my cat’. We are so grateful to the PDSA.”
Mrs Leckie also said that a neighbour’s cat was left dead after a similar airgun assault last week.
She said: “We were thinking it was somebody targeting us or our cats specifically, but then we heard about what happened to our neighbour’s cat.”
“Why not fire the airgun at cola cans – why does it have to be an innocent animal that can’t defend itself?”
Although Mrs Leckie has no idea who is responsible for the attacks, she believes it could be the same person or people.
A spokeswoman for Lothian and Borders Police said: “Police are investigating a report of an animal being struck by a pellet in Whitburn. “