A stray feline became close friends with Jen Koca, a resident in Richmond, Virginia. When she took the cat in, the woman discovered a wound close to the cat’s throat one day.
Later, the veterinarian made a gruesome finding; he identified a bullet lodged in OJ’s neck.
OJ, an orange tabby cat, has been regular on Penick Road in Richmond’s Lakeside for six years. His frequent appearances have earned him the nickname “king of the neighborhood,” according to WRIC ABC8 News.
Over time, Jen Koca formed a special bond with the 8-year-old moggy. Although OJ preferred a more nomadic lifestyle, visiting numerous yards and mingling with different neighborhood inhabitants, Koca welcomed him into her home.
Then, as he continued to wander outside, Jen took care of OJ for four years whenever he returned.
A shocking discovery
A close friend of Koca’s, living in Baltimore, Maryland, finally adopted OJ at the beginning of 2022.
However, a week before he was supposed to join his new family, Jen discovered a visible hole in the feline’s neck.
The shape of the wound was peculiar; it was as regular as if it had been drawn. Koca told Richmond-Petersburg WWBT in May:
“He had a perfect circle wound on his neck,”
The brave OJ acted as if nothing was wrong, yet his caretaker had realized the puncture wasn’t a typical street cat scratch. So, Jen Koca decided to bring him to the veterinary clinic.
After the trip to the vets, the orange cat was quickly treated and sent home. However, an infection started to appear on his neck weeks later.
OJ’s new family took him back to the vet, who then subjected the pussy cat to an X-ray. The results showed that OJ had a lump next to his esophagus.
Shockingly It was a bullet that had been lodged there for months.
Horrified by this disturbing find, Jen Koca posted OJ’s story on social media, informing her community about the crime and declaring:
He’s not a threat. He’s a very friendly, loving animal, one of the sweetest cats I’ve worked with,”
According to Virginia state law, harming any cat — feral or domestic — is illegal. Koca hopes Henrico Police can somehow identify OJ’s assailant.
On the road to recovery
To help their cat, OJ’s new family took him to a specialist. Fortunately, this specialist determined that he could remove the bullet, so he booked OJ for an extraction surgery in June.
OJ wasn’t alone, his Lakeside friends rallied around the “King of the neighborhood.”
Following several weeks of spreading the news about the feline’s plight, OJ’s owners obtained roughly $6,000 in donations from neighbors who wanted to support the cost of the expensive surgery.
Although the surgery was trickier than anticipated (doctors found another bullet in OJ’s nose!), WRIC reported that the surgery was successful.
The cat is now recovering at his home in Baltimore, what a tough little guy!