Rikki Smith of Manitoba said the pellet that struck her tubby tabby was absorbed by a layer of blubber, preventing damage to vital organs.
"They [veterinarians] said that's the only time they would recommend having a chubby cat," Smith told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. "That's what saved her life: her chubby, chubby belly."
The 1-year-old cat named Le Neige was found wounded on Smith's patio June 28, the morning after a nighttime foray into the neighborhood. Smith rushed her pet to the vet where it was patched up and released with eight more lives to go.
Although the wound was minor, the bill was more painful. Smith said the tab drained her bank account, and her friends started a Facebook page seeking donations, the CBC said.