'Tough cat' in Eastern Townships survives being pierced by arrow

Two-year-old Bruce the cat is slowly recovering after being struck by an arrow on Monday in Brigham, Que., 75 kilometres southeast of Montreal.

Bruce's owner, Hailey Downes, said she received a frantic call from her mother Monday night, asking her to rush home. When they arrived, Downes and her boyfriend, Adney Norton, found Bruce with an arrow that had lodged between the shoulder blades and come out the other side.

Submitted by Hailey Downes

"Right through — from one side to the other," said Downes. "I didn't really have thoughts. I was in a panic."

They rushed Bruce to the nearest veterinarian, in Brossard, about an hour's drive away.

"He's a tough cat," Downes said the veterinarians told her, after removing the arrow.

They recommended that the cat undergo surgery to fix a broken vertebra. But Downes said the couple couldn't afford the operation, which would have cost between $1,500 and $2,000, after spending close to $700 on medications and the arrow's removal.

Road to recovery

Even without the surgery, however, Downes said Bruce is recovering well and getting more active day by day.

"He'll get up and eat and go back to sleep. Then he'll get up, go to the bathroom, go back to sleep."

Downes said they have no idea who could have hurt Bruce, but she said it's not the first time a cat in the area has been struck by an arrow.

Last summer, a neighbour's cat suffered the same fate, she said.

Downes has filed a formal complaint with police, who told her they would ask around the neighbourhood.

The Sûreté du Québec for the Brome-Missisquoi region confirmed they have been informed of an incident involving a cat and an arrow.

They said they have not received other reports of similar cases, and for now it's being treated as an isolated incident.

Until police get to the bottom of what happened, Downes said she won't be letting Bruce outside.

"He will be an indoor cat for quite a while."