Cat Shot In Head With Crossbow Is Home & Healing While Abuser Faces Felony Charge

Written by: Kelli Brinegar
For more than five years, Kelli Brinegar has been using her ability to write and her passion for research to tell the tale of what cats are thinking and why. She has provided care to more than 30 cats in her lifetime.Read more
| Published on July 27, 2021

WARNING: There are graphic images of Oliver the Cat’s injuries within this post.

When cat dad Eric R. Erickson came home from work on a Thursday afternoon, he discovered his cat Oliver waiting on the doorstep for him. Oliver had been missing for four days and his return home was a shocking one.

Eric’s feline buddy had been shot through the head and neck with a crossbow bolt by someone in his Iosco County, Michigan neighborhood. In spite of the gruesome injury, Oliver was still alive.

As Eric explained to MLive, he called around looking for help, but it was after hours, and no one was available until the next morning. Oliver was in terrible shape, Eric saying,

“I had to act. His blood was coagulated and he had flies and maggots in his ears.”

Infection had already set in and Oliver was feverish with its effects. Once the morning dawned, Eric took Oliver to the Tawas Animal Hospital, where he was kept for more than three days of treatment.

While his cat was under veterinary care, Eric worked on finding out who had inflicted such cruelty on his cat. He started calling neighbors until one call resulted in a woman admitting to shooting Oliver.

Cruelty with a Crossbow

When Eric found Oliver, he just couldn’t believe his eyes or that someone would want to hurt his good boy.

“This cat is such a nice cat. He’s such a sweet boy; he just wants attention.”

So when a woman blatantly admitted to brutalizing his cat, Eric was stunned, telling WBKB 11:

“She gets on the phone and she says yea your cat was over here like normal and was getting into it with one of my cats and it looked like it had rabies so I shot it.”

Eric was shocked by the accusation his cat had been acting rabid, knowing such a thing couldn’t be true of Oliver. He was also horrified to learn when he’d been hurt, “she said she shot him on Sunday.”

Four agonizing days passed for Oliver as he struggled to get home. But the Tawas Animal Hospital team worked their medical magic, easing poor Oliver’s suffering with their efforts.

“It’s a horrible thing, but he got lucky. It was a lucky shot of an arrow going through his neck to where he can eat. They took x–rays they did everything to make sure he was going to be ok,” Eric said.

In addition to the efforts of the animal hospital, the Iosco Humane Society worked to raise funds to cover Oliver’s thousand-dollar vet bill. The group reached that goal, raising over double the amount requested thanks to caring animal lovers. Now the sweet cat is back home with his family. He’s healing in the arms of Eric, two feline siblings, and two dog buddies.

Earning the nickname Rambo Kitty after surviving such an ordeal, Oliver is a special cat, with Eric affirming, “He’s not just a cat; he’s my buddy.”

Never a Problem Before

Eric lives on a 25-acre property, so wandering cats have always been a thing for him and his neighbors in their rural neighborhood. Never before has he or any of his neighbors had issues in the past. The outdoor kitties of the area help to keep the vermin population under control and Oliver was one of these outdoor cats.

He wasn’t neutered and Eric feels this led to his wanderings from home, and as he told MLive, “Unfortunately, maybe I was accidentally part of the problem, not having him neutered.”

But, fixed or not, no cat or his family deserves such anguish. What happened to Oliver was an act of cruelty. One that has left Eric wondering why his neighbor turned to violence if she was having trouble with Oliver.

Eric can’t help asking, “Why didn’t they call me? Why didn’t they call law enforcement? Why did they just take it into their own hands and shoot my cat and not tell me?”

Those questions are surely ones we are all asking too, but when it comes to animal abusers, their actions will never make sense to those of us that value animals.

Investigation Leads to Felony Charge

Eric contacted the Iosco County Sheriff’s Office and filed a report, resulting in an investigation.  The findings were then submitted to the Iosco County Prosecutors Office with Prosecutor James A. Bacarella authorizing a felony warrant for the 21-year-old woman who shot Oliver. She’s charged with one count Animals-Killing/Torturing third degree, a crime punishable by up to four years in prison.

As for sweet Oliver, he will be neutered once healed and kept to indoor living. Eric shared, “He’s doing great. He’s eating and his wounds are really doing fine.”

Feature Image: Iosco Humane Society/Facebook