Sara is lucky to be alive after being shot and having emergency surgery.

When she started behaving funny and stopped eating, her owner Jan Frances knew something was wrong with her beloved pet cat.

Sara is a 3-year-old birman-ragdoll cross that Frances had paid $1000 for as a kitten. Since then they had been inseparable.

"I had moggies and rescue cats before and decided to buy her through a breeder in Auckland. She's got vivid blue eyes. She's beautiful," she said.

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"I thought she seemed a bit funny one morning and I had a home help person with me at the time and I said 'she's not eating, I think something is wrong. I think I might take her to the vet'.

Levin woman Jan Frances and her cat Sara.
Levin woman Jan Frances and her cat Sara.

"She was examined and given antibiotics and other treatment just to be on the safe side and that was on the Tuesday. Well ..."

It was only when Sara was given an x-ray that it became apparent there was a bullet lodged in her stomach, and a decision was made to book an appointment at Massey University for an operation.

But Sara's condition began to deteriorate so quickly that a decision was made to operate then and there.

Her Levin vet managed to safely located and remove the pellet, along with 20cm of bowel, and stitch her back up again. She stayed there under observation for four days, until she was well enough to go home again.

Levin cat Sara was shot in the belly.
Levin cat Sara was shot in the belly.

"It was pretty shocking for me," she said.

The cost of saving Sara's life was more than $2000 and her son Arrin, who lives in Australia, covered the bill.

But it was the knowledge that someone had used her for target practice that was the most distressing part of the ordeal, she said.

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"I'm really nervous about letting her outside," she said.

Jan Frances saved her cat Sara from her bullet wounds with emergency surgery.
Jan Frances saved her cat Sara from her bullet wounds with emergency surgery.

Frances was so shaken by the ordeal she was considering a move to the Kāpiti area to be closer to family.