A man ended up piercing a crossbow into a cat's lungs while showing his friend how the weapon works. The white and grey cat, named Smokey, suffered the injury while emerging from under a trampoline.

After careful investigation by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), it was revealed that Smokey barely escaped death following the near-fatal incident at a garden in Taunton, Somerset. "People should remember crossbows are a weapon and their use should not be taken lightly," said Jo Daniel, RSPCA inspector.

According to Daniel, extra precaution needs to be taken when handling dangerous weapons since it, "takes one mistake and a life could be at stake – either that of an animal or even a human... being responsible and gaining the right experience before using any weapon is absolutely key and will ensure nasty accidents like this do not happen."

While crossbows are not illegal weapons, intentionally hurting animals can lead to a fine and a prison term. "In this case this was an unfortunate accident, but sadly people do also deliberately target animals in this way," said Daniel, reported The Evening Standard. "Deliberately harming an animal is a prosecutable offence and those committing such an offence can face a fine and up to six months in prison."

Smokey is presently recovering at the RSPCA's West Hatch animal centre in Somerset, where she received treatment following the incident. Her bolt has also been removed. RPSCA is hopeful that Smokey will soon make a completely recovery and return back to her owners.

Earlier, news emerged of a 13-year-old being arrested in Barcelona for allegedly killing a male teacher and wounding several others with a crossbow. A US teenager was also similarly charged with first-degree murder after he killed his father with a crossbow in 2014.