Brandi Abate’s cat Remy was gone for only an hour and a half Monday morning before he returned to his St. Rose home bleeding profusely from his face and in obvious pain.
“He escaped while we were trying to charge a battery on a vehicle,” Abate said. “We were going in and out of the house and he got out and we didn’t notice he was out right away.”
Abate realized her one and a half year old cat was gone while she was getting ready to leave for work, but since other adults were at the house at the time she said she headed to work with no worries.
“At 9:41 I got the phone call,” Abate said. “My aunt said Remy came through the back yard and she thought he must have gotten in a fight. He was bleeding and it wouldn’t stop.”
Abate’s daughter brought the cat to the Destrehan Animal Clinic, and the feline was then referred to MedVet in Metairie.
“They discovered the gunshot wound,” Abate said. “I had to do a COVID-safe drop-off and wait in the parking lot.”
After she learned of Remy’s condition, Abate said she was hit with another blow – the news that Remy would only survive with a near $6,000 surgery.
“I had to make a decision,” she said. “But I called them and told them to please do it because I’ll figure it out.”
A GoFund me account – “Please help Remington with gunshot wound” – was set up by a family friend and currently stands at nearly $3,000.
“People started donating immediately,” Abate said. “I was so surprised. I’m humbled and in awe.”
Abate said her home, situated on River Road and Almedia Road, has an open clearing behind it. She said she had never received any complaints from neighbors about her animals, which include Remy and two dogs.
“The St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office is collecting video coverage from neighbors and surrounding businesses,” she said. “A bullet was recovered this morning.”
Remy’s medical care revealed his jaw had been crushed and x-rays showed a bullet entry and exit wound consistent with that of a 22 caliber gun.
“The roof of his mouth was blown open and tissue torn away,” Abate said. “They closed that up so when he does begin eating again it doesn’t go into his nasal cavity. The mandible was shattered, and there was no healthy bone left to attach a plate to. They had to remove the bottom portion of his jaw on one side where the bullet exited. The tissue under his tongue was also torn away and had to be grafted and closed up.”
Remy returned home this afternoon and will face several weeks of heavy sedation, medication and a feeding tube.
“He’ll have to relearn how to eat,” Abate said. “I’ve never been a cat person since I owned this cat … I love this cat.”