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Fort Myers, Florida (News-Press) -- Shot with a pellet gun, pelted with rocks and a likely survivor of a car crash, a small cat named Laurel is recovering at the intensive care unit of the Specialized Veterinary Services animal hospital.

The gray and white feline has been there for over a week after it was rescued by the Animal Refuge Center in North Fort Myers.

It was found by a man who noticed a bunch of kids throwing rocks at something, said Wayne Leinen, acting executive director of the center.

"He yelled at the kids and they scattered," Leinen said. "He went over and found a very badly hurt cat."

X-rays show the cat has metal scraps imbedded in one of her front legs from a possible BB gun, Leinen said. Additionally she has injuries that were likely sustained by a car hitting her.

"We understood the extent of her injuries were fairly severe and euthanasia could be the best thing for her," Leinen said.

Despite her injuries, the center decided to save the cat. Because of her fighting nature, veterinarians have decided to treat Laurel for her injuries.

Stephanie Stowell, a registered veterinary technician at the animal hospital, said the cat has maintained a sweet disposition despite her wounds.

"She walked in meowing, kneading, and purring from even before the pain meds," Stowell said.

Laurel's hind leg was amputated on Monday.

At the animal hospital, Laurel has to be carried to get to different places. One of her front legs is wrapped up in a bright blue bandage with bright hearts on it.

Ryan Cavanaugh, a veterinary surgeon, said Laurel's injuries are relatively chronic.

"Despite all of that, she was finding a way to somehow nourish herself to try to stay alive," Cavanaugh said. "I'm not sure how she was doing it."

The 12 to 18-month old cat has an indomitable spirit, Cavanaugh said.

"It's our duty as veterinarians to end that suffering, not to perpetuate it, but we felt that she could handle the treatment and she wanted to fight and that's why we are giving her a fighting chance," Cavanaugh said.

Laurel the cat

Laurel's recovery will be costly. The Animal Refuge Center, a nonprofit no-kill shelter in North Fort Myers, is asking for donations for Laurel's treatment. The center estimates it could cost as much as $10,000 to take care of Laurel's injuries.

To make a donation, go to animalrefugecenter.com/donate/special-medical-fund/ and make a note that says "For Laurel."

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