07/05/2013 05:03 EDT | Updated 09/04/2013 05:12 EDT

Shot Manitoba cat saved by belly fat

A pet cat shot by an air rifle in Manitoba was saved by its belly fat.

Le Neige, the one-year-old tabby, is now recovering at home after being shot in Brandon. The cat is getting better but is still in the danger zone, listed in serious condition, said owner Rikki Smith.

Le Neige snuck out of the house in the evening of June 28 and Smith found her lying on the patio the next morning.

She rushed the cat to the veterinarian, who said Le Neige's store of fat significantly lessened the bullet's impact, keeping it from piercing any organs.

"They [vet] said that's the only time they would recommend having a chubby cat. That's what saved her life: her chubby, chubby belly," said Smith, who doesn't know exactly how much Le Neige weighs.

The incident has taken a big hit on Smith's bank account, which she has had to empty to pay the vet bills. Now some of her friends have started a Facebook page to raise funds.

"That will help and that really makes me believe there is still some good in this world," Smith said, fighting back tears.