Police investigating ‘friendly and fearless’ cat shot by pellet gun in Enfield

  • Derek Corbin's three-year-old Siberian cat Province naps in a Feb. 3, 2020, photograph. Police say the cat was shot with a pellet gun Saturday morning somewhere in Corbin's Enfield, N.H., neighborhood, according to Enfield Police Chief Roy Holland. (Courtesy Derek Corbin) Courtesy Derek Corbin

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 3/23/2020 9:19:27 PM
Modified: 3/23/2020 9:19:23 PM

ENFIELD — On Saturday morning, Derek Corbin let his cat Province — affectionately nicknamed “Provy” by neighbors — out into the sunshine to explore his quiet residential neighborhood along the banks of Mascoma Lake.

It was a regular routine for the 3-year-old Siberian, who likes wandering up and down the popular rail trail almost daily, joining Corbin on trips to the store or venturing out on his own to receive pets from passers-by.

But that routine was shattered Saturday when the cat returned to the Corbins’ home, crying and bleeding from his back leg.

“He came back barely able to walk. … I just knew something was wrong,” Corbin said Monday.

The cat was shot with a pellet gun Saturday morning somewhere in the neighborhood, and police are investigating the incident, Enfield Police Chief Roy Holland said.

Corbin said a local veterinarian treated Provy on Saturday, and the cat is recovering, but his movements are still affected by the pellet lodged in his lower back.

“He hasn’t left our side,” Corbin said, “He’s not himself.”

For Corbin, a disabled Navy veteran who considers Provy his “best friend,” the incident has been heartbreaking.

The 42-year-old father of one was never a big fan of cats — partly because he’s allergic to most breeds — until he and his wife Kelly visited a woman who breeds Siberian cats, which are hypoallergenic, in Westminster, Vt.

Out of a group of four kittens that the woman brought out, one latched itself to Corbin.

“I said ‘This is him. This is the guy we’re taking home,’ ” Corbin recalled telling his wife. They settled on the name Province — a nod to their honeymoon spot at the tip of Cape Cod six years earlier — and planned to treat the cat like an indoor pet.

But Provy wasn’t having it.

“He would want to go on walks with us,” Corbin said, describing how he, his cat, and his dog would travel down the rail trail several times a day. Provy, who is not declawed, doesn’t chase birds or other animals, his owner said. He likes to languish at the sailboat launch in the summer and makes regular stops at neighbors’ homes, including the home of Rick Sam, who owns a black Labrador retriever named Kisho that Provy is “in love with,” Corbin said.

Provy will lie on Sam’s porch, waiting for him to let Kisho out so the two can play, he added.

Sam said Provy has been a “neighborhood joy” and often accompanies Sam and Kisho on their walks along the rail trail.

“I’ve seen Provy walk up to strangers without any concern,” Sam said, calling Provy “friendly and fearless.”

“He’s very well known in the neighborhood. People just love our cat,” Corbin said.

For the Corbin family, that’s been one of the hardest parts of the whole ordeal: the idea that someone they knew might have harmed their pet.

“I think they meant to kill our cat,” Corbin said “We’re not letting him out again until we find out who did this.”

Anna Merriman can be reached at amerriman@vnews.com or 603-727-3216.

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