CROWN POINT | A small black cat is being called "Toughy" after surviving in bitter cold with an arrow through its body.
A Crown Point couple discovered the cat Thursday outside the door of their 117th Avenue home just outside city limits.
"There was a kitty screaming at our back door," said Buckett Pendley, a longtime Realtor in the Crown Point area. "I looked out the window, and I couldn't believe what I saw."
An arrow was poking through his front paw after piercing his shoulder and shattering a front leg.
Pendley's husband, Mickey, cut off the shaft of the arrow and the couple called neighbors Jeff Jamrosz and his wife, Melissa Buggie, a veterinarian at the St. John Animal Clinic in nearby St. John.
Jamrosz rushed Toughy to the clinic, where Buggie performed three hours of surgery to remove the arrow and set broken leg bones.
Toughy emerged from sedation later Thursday and appears likely to survive, said Jamrosz, an assistant at the animal clinic.
The cat's wound was badly infected, and the arrow is believed to have been embedded for several days, Jamrosz said.
Pendley said the clinic was able to save the cat's leg, and it has offered to absorb the medical costs.
It's hard to know how the cat survived in subzero temperatures overnight, Jamrosz said. "He's very lucky he didn't get himself trapped in a fence."
The cat had to make its way across heavily snow-covered fields to make it to the Pendley home in a semirural neighborhood.
"The vet nicknamed him 'Bulls Eye,'" Buckett said. "I nicknamed him 'Toughy' for having survived."
The cat is believed to be about 2 years old and was wearing a turquoise and white-striped collar, Pendley said. He'd been spotted in the neighborhood from time to time since summer and appeared to be healthy.
The Pendleys called neighbors Thursday in a fruitless attempt to find his owner.
It's likely the cat was shot with the arrow from a slightly elevated height, and the shooting may not have been an accident, Jamrosz said.
"I think whoever did this should be very ashamed," Pendley said. "We are all God's creatures."