SHE is the cat who almost died after being shot several times with an air weapon and left to her fate.

The badly-injured feline was discovered by Sarah Barker, a 44-year-old carer from Marchwood, who found her hiding in a neighbour's garden.

As reported in the Daily Echo, she was frail, unable to walk and had blood all over her face and paws.

Sarah suspected the animal had been hit by a car and took her to Seadown Veterinary Services in Frost Lane, Hythe.

New Forest Post:

The cat, who was christened Hope, later gave birth to four healthy kittens.

Now she has been found a "forever home" by the Southampton branch of Cats Protection, which has also managed to rehome her kittens.

When she arrived at Seadown Hope was in so much pain she needed a large amount of analgesic before she could be examined and X-rayed.

Emma Owen, one of the vets based at the practice, said: "I was shocked when I looked at the X-rays and saw air gun pellets.

"The poor little creature had been shot three times - two of the pellets were in her neck and the other was sitting in the roof of her mouth.

"After a day or so of pain relief and antibiotics she started to eat and she is now able to use her leg normally."

Hope was not wearing a collar and had not been microchipped, suggesting she was either a stray or had been abandoned.

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Emma said: "She's very fortunate to have no lasting problems from her injuries and I do hope she finds a really good and loving home. She certainly deserves it."

Now Emma's wish has come true.

Posting on social media Seadown said: "The cat shot with an air rifle, who went on to have kittens, now has a new forever home.

"The lady who now owns Hope is being lovely and patient. She is fully aware of Hope’s history so she's letting her settle in at her own pace and enjoy being a cat without the responsibility of kittens.

"Grateful thanks to Southampton Cats Protection who also found gorgeous homes for her kittens too."