ARLINGTON (WJLA) - You've heard the saying "a cat has nine lives." One feline named Arrow is proof of that. He has at least 20 BB pellets in his head and more than 60 lodged throughout his body.
The cuddly cat carries a shocking story.
"A trauma like this to survive, it's crazy," said at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington development associate Juliana Willems.
"He's definitely a survivor," added Chief Operating Officer Susan Sherman.
They say a good Samaritan stumbled upon Arrow last month and rushed him over to their care.
The tiny tabby was wandering in Ballston and noticeably in pain. Not only was he blind, but a veterinarian made another horrible discovery.
"I personally have never seen an animal filled with buckshot," admitted Sherman.
Dozens of BB pellets or shotgun shell fragments were buried inside his face and body.
"Seeing those X-rays you can't even believe it almost," said Willems.
Arrow had to have one eye removed, but the BB's stayed put. The vet decided removing them would cause more harm than good and Arrow is already amazingly bouncing back.
"In our field we see a lot, but to see an animal like this and he's still so sweet, but to see what he's been through and intentionally this is very difficult to take in," said Willems.
Investigators don't know why the shooting happened or when.
"It definitely classifies as animal cruelty [and] animal abuse," informed Sherman.
The crime that can cost you up to a year in jail and a $2500 fine.
Shelter staff say while they'd like whoever is responsible for this caught, right now they're more focused on giving the five year-old tabby the tender, loving care he deserves.
"We want the rest of his life to just be cuddled up, warm and cozy with somebody who loves him," said Sherman.