Woman finds her cat shot dead in neighbour's garden

2018-06-29 09:57
Prestbury resident Barbara Still holds a picture up of her cat, Bagheera, who had been shot and killed by an air rifle on Monday.

Prestbury resident Barbara Still holds a picture up of her cat, Bagheera, who had been shot and killed by an air rifle on Monday. (Ian Carbutt )

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A devastated Prestbury woman is still coming to terms with finding her cat, Bagheera, dead from an air rifle wound in a neighbour’s garden.

English teacher Barbara Still said on Thursday that she is heartbroken over Bagheera’s death and wants answers as to who shot him and why.

“It was around 7.30 pm on Monday when I realised Bagheera was missing, which is unusual for him because he is a home cat and rarely goes out exploring,” said Still.

“I spent an hour walking up and down my road, calling for him and shaking food but I couldn’t find him. I was going to stay awake in case he came back but I thought it was better that I get some sleep and start looking for him again early the next morning.”

Still said she went out searching for her cat again on Tuesday morning, without success.

However, when she went to look for him again at around lunch time, she spotted her favourite black cat lying motionless in the neighbour’s garden.

“Through the fence, in the neighbour’s yard, I saw his little black body just lying there. I could see he was dead.”

Together with her landlord, Still tried the neighbour’s intercom, however, she said no one was home, so she jumped over the fence to recover Bagheera’s body.

Still said she took Bagheera’s body to a vet for an autopsy, which had found that Bagheera had been severely wounded by a pellet.

The cause of death is recorded as cardiac arrest and respiratory failure “caused by wounds to the chest and lungs from an air rifle pellet”.

The report stated that “although ... it is unlikely that the cat lived for more than 10 minutes after being shot, there certainly would have been a period of intense pain and suffering”.

“I am furious. I switch between being angry, to numb, to being just terribly sad,” said Still.

“His name was Bagheera but I called him my ‘love bug’ because he always bugged me for love,” said Still. “Bagheera came to me in 2014 as an adult. He had been abandoned by his previous owners and had a bad ear infection. I took him in.”

She said she was living in Cape Town at the time, with three of her other cats.

“I moved from Cape Town back to Pietermaritzburg because I could not find a place suitable for my cats.

“I flew them up from Cape Town and it was expensive, but they are my life.”

Still held a community meeting at her home last night to address the issue.

Attempts yesterday to contact the person in whose garden the cat was found were unsuccessful.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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