LAMPASAS — A former stray cat is struggling to recover after being shot by an arrow last week near a small city park in Lampasas.

With a new name and a new home, Oscar is grouchy but expected to fully recover, according to his adopted family.

The former stray was found Friday morning by Mary Pavey. She called to her son for help and they rushed the cat to a veterinary hospital.

“He’s just a miracle kitty,” Pavey said. “We live close to a small city park and had looked after him since last fall. A little after 8 a.m. Friday, I went outside and called for him, and that’s when I saw him with the arrow through his body.”

Pavey’s son, Doug Wilkison, knew exactly what to do. Without hesitation, he grabbed his tools and cut off the end of the arrow to shorten it and prevent further injury.

The family rushed the cat to the Animal Health Center of Lampasas, where he was turned over to Dr. Brad Moyer.

Moyer took X-rays and found the arrow pierced the cat’s side, lodging in his neck and behind his shoulder. All agree it was a miracle no vital organs were pierced by the full-size game arrow.

“Rather than perform surgery and risk additional injury, Dr. Moyer was very methodical and anesthetized him, pulling the arrow out through his neck, where it entered, so there was no concern of hitting the carotid artery or veins,” Pavey said. “We took him home that same day. He is sore in the shoulder, grouchy and he can’t go outside, but he’s alive.”

Lampasas Animal Control Officer Joe Schwartzer responded to the call and met the family at the veterinary hospital. Although there are no specific leads in the case, he said an open investigation is underway.

Schwartzer was unsure if it was an accident.

“I went to the location along the 600 block of South College Street to interview residents,” he said. “I did find some other arrows along the creek, and it’s most likely a place where kids play and practice bow hunting. ... The family was pretty upset. It didn’t seem like a feral cat; he just sat there calmly and didn’t shy away from contact.”

In four years as the city’s animal control officer, Schwartzer said this is the second case he’s seen involving cruelty to animals.

Stacie Sherva, a Killeen animal control officer, said a similar incident occurred a few years ago.

“We had a similar case with a cat being shot by an arrow. We investigated it as an animal cruelty case, but there’s no case if there is no one to prosecute, so we closed the investigation,” Sherva said.

“Most of our animal cruelty investigations involve dogs left without food and water.”

Fortunately, the Killeen cat also survived and was turned over to an animal rescue group that found it a permanent home.

Pavey said she is grateful to the Friends of the Lampasas Animal Shelter, which sought public donations for the family and offered to cover the cat’s medical expenses.

“I have no idea how much that visit cost, and the Friends have also offered to pay for Oscar’s vaccinations as well as have him neutered when the time comes,” Pavey said. “For now, we just want him to recover from this and get stronger.”

Anyone with information about the case should call the Lampasas Police Department at 512-556-3644.

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