The Floyd County Police Department has tasked an investigator with looking into who may have been responsible for shooting a crossbow bolt into the head of a cat, which is currently recovering after having it removed from its skull.

“He used most of his nine lives up,” said Kristy LaRue, the CEO of Floyd Felines, which its group of volunteers are seeing to the cat’s recovery and finding it a home. “Eight of them for sure.”

Floyd County police Maj. Jeff Jones said the case has been assigned to Sgt. Misty Pledger. Police are working to see if they can pull some DNA off the bolt and “hopefully come up with someone,” he said.

This will likely be a challenge, increasing in difficulty depending on how many people handled the bolt before it was shot, Jones added.

On Saturday night, Floyd County Animal Control officer Matt Cordle was on patrol when he got the call about a cat, now dubbed as Floyd Mayweather, having an arrow in its head.

“Really, and it’s still alive?’” he recalled his initial response. “I've been here 18 years and that’s the first one I’ve seen like that.”

Cordle met a Floyd County police officer at the Cave Spring home of a man who said he feeds the cat when it comes there — getting along well with his own animals, a cat and a dog. When it came Saturday night, the man saw the end of the crossbow bolt sticking out of its head. Not knowing what to do, Cordle said the man called 911.

“How was it still alive,” Cordle said, adding that the cat wasn’t acting as if it was hurt. “It was crazy. The cat was a loving cat, gentle, would rub all up against you.”

After impounding the cat and not wanting to put it down, Cordle called Floyd Felines. “I did what anyone else would do” in turning it over to a rescue group, he said. He believes someone would have had to stand over the cat and shoot it from a close range with a pistol crossbow.

The cat was then taken to the office of the Culbreth Carr Watson Animal Clinic. LaRue said Dr. Martin Rysavy did not initially know what to do, telling her he’d only seen incidents like this on the Discovery Channel.

But he started by taking X-rays. The bolt had cracked the cat’s skull but it hadn’t penetrated the brain, she added.

Rysavy sedated the cat and gently removed the bolt from its head and applied a drainage tube to the wound, LaRue said. Rysavy was concerned the cat could have had brain damage, swelling or bleeding, she continued.

But since the procedure, LaRue said the cat has responded well, displaying its friendliness as it’s kept at a foster home. Views of Facebook posts on the group’s page have soared over 80,000. The cat will be put up for adoption or will be placed in a home.

“It makes you wonder how somebody could do something like that,” she said.

LaRue said the effort was aided by Sarah Herndon, Sarah Hallstein and Chrissy Davis. Herndon and Hallstein helped out at the animal clinic and Davis monitored social media, providing updates on the situation. 

Floyd Felines is hosting an adoption event Saturday at the Humane Society of Rome at 518 Broad St., starting at 11 a.m. and running until 3 p.m.