It happened in York, Pennsylvania

Angelica Sipe and her son, Daemire, were both asleep one August night last year in their home on South Royal Street when a stray bullet shattered the silence and smashed through their living room window. Immediately awakened by the sound, Angelica ran  from where she lay on the couch to her son who was on a nearby loveseat. In her own words: "It took me a second to realize what had happened. The first thing I did was check on my son and he was sound asleep. Then I saw my cat on the floor and that's when  I knew he had been shot." (See my article on Major Tom.)

Opie the Hero Cat
Opie and Daemire

The bullet barely missed the little boy who had fallen asleep on a love seat. His mother was lying on a nearby couch when the bullet struck and went through the couch, hitting poor Opie the cat. She told the press: "It came in the top of his head, out the bottom of his neck and back into his shoulder and out his armpit rib area. The bullet then ricocheted and ht the loveseat where Daemire was sleeping, just inches above his head." (See my article on Tara The Cat.)

No one else was injured in the shooting, and although the police retrieved several casings from the scene, which are still undergoing ballistic analysis, no one has been apprehended. Angelica Sipe told the local press that she is looking to leave her neighborhood in the wake of the incident. She said: "I want out. I do not want to stay here." (See my article on Merel the Service Dog.)

The cat suffered some serious injuries but has recovered

Opie suffered some muscle damage and needed surgery. He also endured many stitches and a drainage tube, but he is okay, Sipe started a GoFundMe page to raise money for the vet bills, determined to see her loving pet through this crisis. She honestly told visitors to the page: "If my cat was not laying where he was, the bullet would have hit my son. he is my hero and my son's lifesaver! I need to keep him around." Her goal was $1,000 but to her surprise, she collected more than $2,500 in five days. She told those who gave so generously that anything beyond the cost of the vet bills she will donate to the animal hospital that saved Opie's life. (See my article on Sassy The Chihuahua.)

Opie is a hero

While the crime remains unsolved, everyone involved recognizes that Opie the cat is a hero. Angelica Sipe now understands gratitude in a way she never could have imagined. Her son and cat are both doing very well. The Facebook photo of Opie and her son cuddling on the sofa had the caption underneath that read: "This moment right here is what I am most thankful for." (See my article on Baxter,)

here's to hero animals everywhere who aren't lauded enough for their loving devotion to their owners. (See my article on: Two Purple Hearts.)

See: Bretagne