`

Boy pushed cat off 35ft balcony

A cat is recovering after being badly injured when it was pushed off a third floor balcony by a nine-year-old boy.

Specialists had to rebuild the shattered lower jaw of Sasha, an 11-year-old domestic short haired cat.

The animal hit the ground head first after falling more than 35ft, splitting her chin and losing teeth. She is now too scared to go outside on her own.

The boy, who pushed her off the ledge after being told off for throwing stones that could have damaged cars, has now been spoken to by police.

Although below the age of criminal responsibility, so no legal action could be taken, the child could yet face a restorative justice programme.

Yesterday, Sasha was back at Wallgate's Anrich Veterinary Hospital so surgeon Dr Shams Mir could remove the wire which had helped the bones to knit together.

He believes she is lucky to have survived the ordeal, which happened at a block of flats in Skelmersdale.

Dr Mir said: "Cats have an amazing ability to get themselves into the right landing position while they are falling but the outcome depends upon the height and the impact created as a result.

"Sasha appears to have managed to land well on the paws but the chin has hit the ground too hard, leading to splitting of the joint between the jaws.

"Overall she has certainly been lucky as a fall from such a great height could have proved fatal.

"I think providing young children with pets and encouraging them to use their tender hands to care for and to look after them would go a long way in installing a sense of love for animals and respect for life in the new generations."

But Sasha's owner, 29-year-old driving instructor Carla Sandison and her boyfriend Phil Dee, said they "despair" of how any child could be so callous.

Miss Sandison has had her cat since it was a kitten, captivated by the twinkle in her eyes – despite going to the RSPCA shelter intending to rescue a dog.

Click next page for more ...She remembers telling three children from the neighbouring block of flats to stop throwing stones because they could damage vehicles.

But she was horrified by the retribution they meted out to her pet.

When Carla went back into the flat, one of the group walked up the stairs, crept up on sleeping Sasha and callously pushed her off the balcony.

She said: "They must have seen Sasha when I was telling them off. She often sleeps on the balcony wall because it is a real sun trap.

"My boyfriend and a neighbour caught up with the boy and brought him back to the flat to wait for the police to arrive, and I had to keep my distance from him to control myself.

"I have had Sasha since she was three months old and she has been with me through all my moves. To think that some child could do something like this to something so innocent makes my blood boil.

"I have yet to get any kind of apology from him or his family.

"When I told this lad off for throwing stones he gave me some lip back about it being a free country.

"It means that we have choices about what we can make of our lives, not the freedom to do things like this."

Miss Sandison says Sasha is now reluctant to spend much time out from under the safety of her bed.

But she is hopeful she will regain her confidence as the weeks go by.

She has been taking her to a nearby farm to play away from the scene of her ordeal.