An Auckland veterinary practice is trying to track down the owner of a cat that was thrown from the window of a moving car.
The cat has suffered a "significant" injury to its knee - which is either broken or has severe ligament damage - as well as cuts to its nose and an eye after it was seen being "ejected" from a light blue Suzuki Swift-type hatchback as it crossed the Pakuranga Bridge heading towards Panmure at 3.45pm yesterday.
Fortunately, a member of the public saw it happen, and ran to the cat's aid, picking him up off the road and taking him to the vet.
Despite his injuries, the cat remains very affectionate, the Greenlane Veterinary Centre and Cattery senior vet nurse Nicole Robertson told the Herald.
She said they had been "overwhelmed" by the response from the public in regards to the story, with people offering to either re-home or help pay for its care.
She said her own colleagues have offered to carry out the surgery on their days off if needed, while the practice will also "partly fund" the cost.
Robertson said the young woman who brought the cat into the clinic said she was driving behind the car when she saw him "fly out the window" of a car.
"We don't know whether he actually got thrown out or whether he was hiding in the back seat and just happened to jump out as they went over the bridge.
"So it's not necessarily a case of animal abuse, we don't have that as confirmation. That part of the investigation has been handed over to the SPCA inspector but he does have quite a significant injury to his hock [knee]."
However, it was slightly suspicious because if the cat had jumped, it should have landed on its feet and not suffered such serious injuries.
"[The woman] said the cat got projected upwards, so to me that sounds like it has jumped off the window edge but generally when cats jump they land on their feet, they don't injure themselves ... they're pretty dexterous. But it's very difficult to say."
The clinic's Facebook page had been inundated with offers of help she said, describing it as "amazing".
However, the cat would remain in the care of the clinic for the first week to allow its owner to come forward.
If none did, then the clinic would take up one of the offers to rehome him.
"He's a lovely cat. He's obviously been well-loved by somebody so we're really hoping that we can find an owner. It may, unfortunately, be an elderly person who is not on social media. That could be real concern if it's somebody who's not [online]. We've had so many hits that I think most people have a whiff of [the story]."
The fact the cat was still so affectionate - despite his ordeal - meant that he was someone's beloved pet.
"I think it's an indication that he's been well-loved. He's definitely not a stray cat, he's been neutered and well looked."
However, he wasn't micro-chipped.
"We strongly recommend it and it's probably more of an issue in cats than dogs. How much more easy would this process have been if he was micro-chipped."
The Greenlane Veterinary Centre and Cattery's Facebook post has been shared more than 400 times and attracted angry responses from the vet's followers.
"WTF ! Those people should be shot! Beautiful cat, hope it gets a new forever home," one wrote. Another said "absolutely heartbreaking. who could do anything like this to a helpless innocent animal".
One woman claimed to have been the one to pick up the cat and take him to the vet, writing: "I picked him up, and he was a trooper. I'm not a 'cat 'person' to be fair but hearing him purr on the way to the vet was somewhat music to my ears. They were very attentive and caring."
Anyone with information is urged to phone Greenlane Veterinary Centre and Cattery on (09) 524-6415