RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — ‘OJ’ the orange tabby cat is recovering from a successful surgery, approximately one month after his caretakers learned the cat had a bullet lodged in his throat.
After weeks of spreading the word of the 8-year old cat’s story, OJ’s owners received about $6,000 in donations from members of the community, who hoped to help fund the surgery that would remove the bullet. The procedure proved to be more difficult than expected.
“It took a while longer than expected because the bullet was moving up and down the wound track,” OJ’s initial rescuer Jennifer Koca said. “They said the length of five vertebrates.”
Doctors were thrown for another loop when they learned the famous cat — often referred to as the “king of the neighborhood” by Lakeside community members — had another bullet stuck in his small body. This one was lodged in his nose. The cat had been shot not once, but twice — and survived.
“We all joke that he is immortal and that he has more than nine lives,” Koca said.
Despite the complications, doctors were able to get the bullet out of OJ’s throat.
“It turned out to be an airsoft rifle bullet, which unfortunately does mean it’s not traceable,” Koca said.
Koca says even though OJ may not be able to get the justice she feels he deserves, she’s thankful for his recovery. While OJ’s story had a happy ending, other animals may not have been as fortunate if they were in the same situation.
“If anybody could have pulled through this, it what him,” Koca said. “He has been one of the longest survivors on the street I’ve ever met and he really was just the king of everywhere he went.”