A STRAY cat was left with a bullet lodged in one of its legs after being shot by heartless thugs.

The ginger tom, nicknamed Greg by RSPCA staff, was discovered by a passer-by lying in Grange Road, Somersham, on May 30.

One of his back legs was broken and hanging lifeless. It has since been amputated.

Initially, it was thought Greg had been involved in a collision with a car, but X-rays showed a bullet inside the leg, possibly from a rifle.

Greg is now recovering at the RSPCA's Cambs Mid-East centre in Warboys, but the animal charity is appealing for information to find who attacked the cat.

One of Cambridgeshire police's neighbourhood policing team is looking into the matter.

Marion Lovegrove, who runs the Warboys centre, said: "He was picked up in Somersham.

"His back leg was broken and it was hanging. We took him to our main RSPCA centre in Block Fen and he had X-rays and they had to take off the leg because it was so badly shattered.

"He is fine now. He comes out here and jumps on the tables, and gets up on his shelf. He won't wander far and we will have to keep an eye on his diet."

It is thought Greg was a stray and could be three to four years old. His rescuer has now asked formally to adopt him, and it is hoped that Greg will be able to go to home with her at the weekend.

Mrs Lovegrove added: "The lady did ask round to see if anybody knew whose he was. It is nice someone is going to take him home.

"Cats with just one leg or one eye missing sometimes do appeal to people, but sometimes people just walk by because they do not want the responsibility."

Two other cats, Ebony, a tabby, and Muffin, a nine-month old black and white cat, are awaiting new homes at the centre as well. They have each lost an eye.

INFORMATION: Anyone with information should call police on 0345 4564564 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.