A devastated family may have to make a heartbreaking decision just before Christmas after a callous attack on their cat.

On Tuesday, November 14, Raven the cat arrived home "yelping in pain and dripping in blood".

The injury was initially believed to have been caused by an animal attack but the vet discovered five-year-old Raven had been shot with a BB gun or air rifle. 

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"The pellet entered her body right next to her spine and has damaged her nerve trees irreparably," said Dan Parson, owner of the cat. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Raven is five-years-oldRaven is five-years-old (Image: Dan Parsons)"The pellet is still lodged in her abdomen. It seems cruel to put her through the operation if she wasn't going to make it through the paralysis."

Raven is a five-year-old cat who was previously active and lively, but now struggles to walk as she cannot put weight on her back left leg. 

Her family has already spent £1,000 on x-rays, antibiotics, pain killers and examinations, and could cost up to £2,000 more for an operation. 

"There is a chance she may lose function of her other back leg and her bowel," said Mr Parson.

"We may have to make a devastating decision, just before Christmas, all because of some evil person's decision to shoot an innocent family pet."

East Anglian Daily Times: Raven has nerve damage and partial paralysis caused by the pellet going past her spineRaven has nerve damage and partial paralysis caused by the pellet going past her spine (Image: Dan Parson)READ MORE: Suffolk pub named among UK's best places to visit in winter

A spokesperson for Suffolk police said the incident took place between 2pm and 4pm on November 14. 

It is believed to have happened either in or near Hawk End Lane in Elsmwell. 

Anyone with information about the incident should contact Suffolk police quoting crime reference number 37/69025/23.