A TEACHER woke up to find her cat bleeding from the eye after it was shot in the face.

Vets found an air rifle pellet lodged in nine-month-old tabby Mia, and a surgeon had to remove one of her eyes.

She was injured near her home in Chadlington, West Oxfordshire, on the night of Monday, January 13.

Mia's owner Judith Jackson has now spoken out, and said other owners have come forward with suspicions that there could be a repeat offender targeting cats.

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The teacher, who works at Chipping Norton School, said: "It's speculation, but it seems quite a coincidence.

"I was absolutely shocked [about the air rifle]. It was horrifying, to be honest."

Mrs Jackson said she woke up at about 5.30am on the Tuesday morning, to see Mia on her bed with a 'protruding eye and blood running down her face'.

The vet found a 22 calibre air rifle pellet behind her ruptured eye, and saw that her skull had also fractured.

Mrs Jackson said it must have happened during the night because Mia was in the house on Monday evening.

The mother-of-six said the village community had been 'fantastic' in their support.

One resident has set up a fundraising page on Crowdfunder, to contribute towards the £800 vet bill.

A post on the page said: "I'm hoping to show Mia's family how much this community is behind them and that we want to help with the huge expense that's been dumped on them by a cruel, coldhearted individual."

Despite her injury, Mia has mostly recovered and seems to be managing with one eye.

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Her owner added: "She's getting back to normal, she's still playful and she's started purring again.

"She was a bit wary after the operation but she's enjoying cuddles again."

Asked what she would like to say to the person responsible, Mrs Jackson added: "They need to seek some sort of help - clearly they haven't got that barrier that comes down that generally stops people doing cruel acts.

"It's not normal to deliberately harm defenceless animals."

She warned others about the attack on a residents' Facebook page, and commenters branded the act 'disgusting' and 'absolutely sick'.

Another cat owner, Bec Wootton, said her old pet came home once covered in petrol, with a pellet 'buried deep in his thigh' and with a 'tail pull that nearly paralysed him'.

She wrote: "I have a horrible feeling someone in Chad doesn't like cats."

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Another commenter said her cat had his tail degloved, which is when the fur and skin is torn off, and the vet had to remove his whole tail.

Although she said it was possible the injury was caused by a car accident or another animal, human involvement was not ruled out.

In September, Chadlington resident Calvin Heath also found his cat Google with a completely degloved tail.

He said: "Even the vets don't know how it happened - I'd like to think it wasn't deliberate. He was really poorly and almost died a couple of times."

A GoFundMe page called Google's vet bill has also been set up.

Police have appealed for information about Mia's attack and described it as 'cruel'.

In 2018, the RSPCA received 767 reports of animals being shot by air rifles in England and Wales.

Pet cats were the most common target, with 258 incidents recorded.

Anyone with information or who has seen anything suspicious can call 101, quoting reference 961 of 14/1/20.