Cat with bullet wounds gets a new life of love

Poppy the cat lying down on a rug
Despite being shot by a pellet gun, sweet Poppy is so trusting of people.
By Christina London

Just like her namesake, Mary Poppins, Poppy the cat is practically perfect in every way. This fluffy gray tabby is affectionate and easygoing with people and animals alike. She has a soothing purr and impeccable manners (always using her scratching post, never the furniture). She even lets her caregivers trim her nails and bathe her in the sink without complaint. Everyone who meets Poppy loves her, and she loves them back wholeheartedly.

[Love brings cat back from the brink]

Poppy came to the Best Friends Lifesaving Center in Salt Lake City from a Utah shelter — though not on a flying umbrella. The 7-year-old sweetheart needed a second chance and some TLC to heal from past trauma. Best Friends’ goal is for all shelters to reach no-kill by 2025, and that means animal welfare organizations working together to save pets’ lives.

Startling discovery

Poppy needed more than a spoonful of sugar to get healthy. The Best Friends veterinary staff noticed she walked with a limp on her left front leg. X-rays revealed a shocking reality: Poppy’s leg had been broken after being shot by a pellet gun.

“It already healed, but it healed in the incorrect position,” explains Dr. Megan McCarthy, Best Friends veterinarian.

The team also felt something hard under the skin on her back, which turned out to be another pellet. We don’t know who shot Poppy or how long ago it happened, but we can only imagine the pain and confusion she must have felt. However, the trauma didn’t break her spirit.

[Cat proves old wounds really can heal]

“Despite everything she’s been through, she’s just the sweetest cat,” says Dr. Megan.

Because her injury didn’t heal properly, Poppy will always walk with a limp. Fortunately, it doesn’t cause her any pain. Still, the medical team decided to remove the bullet in her back to avoid future problems. The surgery went smoothly, and Poppy went to stay in a foster home to recover.

A happy ending for Poppy

Just like everyone else, Poppy’s foster volunteer was completely charmed by this magical cat. Poppy spent her days relaxing on the couch, receiving chin scratches, and giving slow blinks to show her appreciation.

After recovering from surgery, Poppy was adopted faster than you can say “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.” Her new family positively adores her. Poppy even has several small humans to look after. The children shower her with attention, and she enjoys every minute of it.

Let's make every shelter and every community no-kill by 2025

Our goal at Best Friends is to support all animal shelters in the U.S. in reaching no-kill by 2025. No-kill means saving every dog and cat in a shelter who can be saved, accounting for community safety and good quality of life for pets. 

Shelter staff can’t do it alone. Saving animals in shelters is everyone’s responsibility, and it takes support and participation from the community. No-kill is possible when we work together thoughtfully, honestly, and collaboratively.

Silhouette of two dogs, cat and kitten

You can help save homeless pets

You can help end the killing in shelters and save the lives of homeless pets when you foster, adopt, and advocate for the dogs and cats who need it most.

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