Iesha Bliss decided to let her orange tabby, Chester Cheeto, outside of her home north of Ferndale before she went to work July 20. When she returned later that night and Chester had not, she knew something was wrong.
“He always greeted me, and that day he didn’t,” Bliss said.
While Chester loved to be outside, he was also a mamma’s boy, Bliss said, and he wouldn’t have been out that long.
The next day, after hanging posters around the neighborhood, Bliss heard meows coming from the bushes around her Conifer Drive home. She discovered 4-year-old Chester injured and unable to move his hind legs.
At Bellingham Veterinary, it was discovered he had a metallic fragment from a bullet lodged in his spinal cord. The damage was irreversible, and Chester was euthanized after surgery on July 24.
“I’m extremely heartbroken. He was an amazing cat,” Bliss said “Just for this to be done is completely astounding.”
Chester had greatly enjoyed the Conifer Drive property they had moved to about five months ago, and Bliss plans to eventually spread the ashes of the cat she’s raised since he was 8 months old.
“He was a very calm cat,” she said. “Kids could carry him around by his feet and he wouldn’t care.”
Bliss said she has seen children in the area playing with guns and suspects they were involved with Chester’s injury. However, as of Monday, Aug. 3, animal control officers do not have enough evidence to pursue a case, according to Laura Clark of the Whatcom Humane Society.
Bliss set up a GoFundMe account to help pay for the $3,800 vet bill and had raised $470. A friend also is working on setting up a fundraiser for Bliss later this month.
Those interested in donating to Bliss’ vet bills can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.