JULIE and Mark Marshall arrived home to a grisly sight.
Their six-year-old pedigree ragdoll cat, Pyjamas had been shot and left to die on their front lawn in McKenney St, South Mackay.
She died in Mr Marshall's arms while they were driving to Mackay Veterinary Hospital about 6pm Sunday.
"When the vet (Dr Rowan Pert) looked at her he said 'she's been shot'," Mrs Marshall said.
The pair is shattered by the cruel act, which has been described as deliberate.
"I couldn't believe it was true. First I thought she must have been hit by a car. Not that that would make it any better but I could live with that better because it would have been an accident… but to deliberately murder her.
"(The offender) has to be someone in my street, and that's scary to know."
Dr Pert said 'PJ's' injuries were consistent with a firearm projectile, possibly a small calibre firearm.
The couple had been out searching for a venue for the Leukaemia Foundation's upcoming car rally.
Mrs Marshall is the Foundation's regional events co-ordinator and has raised more than $1 million for the cause.
"The vet said that it would have been pretty instantaneous, so the fact that she was still warm and bleeding… it could have only just happened before we got in… so 15 minutes before and she'd have been upstairs in the warmth with us," she said.
Mrs Marshall was overcome with emotion yesterday as she spoke about her cat.
"We have two ragdoll cats (Teacup and Pyjamas)... we always called PJ the scaredy cat... you would have only had to say boo to her and she's disappear," she said.
"We don't have children... they're our babies. I can't believe someone would do that.
"My concern now is there are a lot of other pets in our street... if there's someone doing this…"
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.