Just as well cats have nine lives because a Port Fairy moggie named Carrots has used one.
The family cat is on the road to recovery after being shot with a .22 calibre round.
Carrots was rushed to Port Fairy Veterinary Clinic before heading to Warrnambool Veterinary Clinic where Dr Anthony Down surgically removed the bullet.
"The bullet entered the left side of the chest and penetrated the skin and through the chest cavity," he said.
"The bullet missed his heart by millimetres which is extraordinary.
"It came out the other side of the chest cavity and became lodged under the armpit in the muscle.
"Often we can't retrieve things like this but we were able to do so with surgery. The biggest thing we had to do was stabilise the cat and treat it for shock. Overall he was coping quite well but he did have some blood loss.
"We monitored him for two-and-a-half days and now it's mainly about monitoring him, making sure his blood count keeps going up and there's no infection.
"There's no doubt he's very lucky to be alive.
"Cats have nine lives but he may have used up a couple of them."
Carrots' family is in shock.
"For the first two days Carrots stayed under our bed," the owner, who did not wished to be named, said.
"After that he wouldn't go out into the backyard because that's where the dogs are so he'd either stay inside of stick to the front yard."
She found the fragile cat on the family's doorstep when she was getting ready to leave the house for the morning school run on Friday.
The owner was stunned to learn Carrots had been shot.
"I was completely dumbfounded," she said.
"It makes me sick to my stomach that someone could shoot a cat in this area."
The family picked Carrots up on Sunday after he had begun eating.
"Carrots is loving all the attention and the kids are happy to see him home," she said.
"He's on lots of medication including antibiotics and we have to make sure he eats and drinks lot. But it will really just take time to heal."
Port Fairy police sergeant David Walkley confirmed the incident had been reported and the bullet removed from the cat was a .22 calibre round, but could not confirm the type of firearm involved.
He said police were continuing to investigate the circumstances around the shooting.
"Police are looking at aggravated cruelty to animal charges, discharging a firearm in a populated area and potentially other firearms offences," he said.
Sergeant Walkley said police were eager to hear from anyone with information about this incident. Anyone with information should contact Port Fairy police or Crimestoppers.
Under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 the maximum penalty for animal cruelty acts is two years jail or a fine of $74,620.
A gofundme page has been launched by a friend of Carrots' owners r to help cover the cost of the cat's medical bills. You can donate via https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-for-carrots
Have you signed up to The Standard's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in the south-west.