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As injured cat recovers, donor comes to rescue

Midnight the cat will be headed back home.

An anonymous donor called Animal Emergency of Pasco on Tuesday and offered to pay all of the veterinary bills for the small black cat, who was shot Sunday with a 2-foot-long arrow.

Her bills were expected to top $1,000.

"I just can't believe. It's amazing," said owner John Johnson, who started crying Tuesday evening when he heard the news.

He cradled Midnight and added, "So she's going to come home. That makes our family complete again."

Johnson and his wife, Heather, had signed Midnight over to the clinic Sunday because they couldn't afford to pay the bill. The cat could have been offered to another family for adoption.

Heather Johnson found the impaled cat early Sunday morning, bleeding and cowering under the trailer next to the family's Gulf Highlands home. The arrow was protruding from her left side.

The arrow missed Midnight's vital organs but hit her sternum and groin after entering through her armpit, said the clinic's chief veterinarian and owner, Dr. Barry Lee.

"It's just a miracle that nothing was pierced," John Johnson said.

On Tuesday evening, Midnight was purring and cuddling with the Johnsons when they visited her at the veterinary clinic. Eleven-year-old Jessica petted the cat as she held a homemade pink valentine she made for the pet.

"1 cat in the world," it read. "I love you."

Midnight probably will stay at the clinic for three to five more days, as the staff flushes her wounds to prevent infection.

Now the Johnsons are searching for the offending archer. They have put up dozens of posters offering a reward for information about who shot Midnight.

"It's a sad thing that you think this would happen in your own neighborhood," Heather Johnson said. "You think you're safe and everything. It's just sad."

John Johnson vowed to "keep going every day" until he found Midnight's attacker.

"I just can't explain how much she's part of our family," he said.

As for the anonymous donor:

"I don't know how to say thank you," John Johnson said.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the sheriff's tip line toll-free at 1-800-706-2488.

Mary Spicuzza covers education in Pasco County. She can be reached in west Pasco at 869-6241 or toll-free at 1-800-333-7505, ext. 6241. Her e-mail address is mspicuzza@spttmes.com.

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