Opie: hero cat of the people and the press

The story of a ‘hero’ cat and its domestic misadventure has been shared around the world. The reason this kitty earned the title of ‘hero’ is obvious: the cat inadvertently protected a child from harm after a stray bullet flew in through the window of the family home hitting the feline rather than the child. But is this story similar to that of Pepper the dog who saved a tourist from aggression?

Opie: ‘hero’ cat in rehabilitation

Opie the cat lives in York, Pennsylvania (USA) with the Sipes family. The ginger feline’s peaceful existence was drastically changed one day when, perhaps in the middle of feline dreams or maybe while he was presiding over his own territory, a stray bullet hit him when he was resting close to where his young owner was sleeping. The possibility that the cat deflected the shot from hitting her son was enough to make Opie a hero cat in the eyes of Angelica Sipe, who told her story to Fox 8 News. Alerted by the sound of shattering glass, Sipe witnessed the following scene: “The first thing I did was check on my son, but he was sound asleep. Then I saw my cat on the floor and I realised he was shot. The stray bullet travelled through the couch, hit Opie on the top of the head, went out the bottom of his neck, in to his shoulder, then exited under his armpit.” The bullet finally lodged into a pillow just inches from where her son Daemire was sleeping. “It could have been my son,” Sipes added. And although Opie sustained serious injuries resulting in stitches in his head, muscle damage and a drainage pipe, the cat survived the ordeal because his owner refused any suggestion of euthanasia, choosing instead to attempt to save him by agreeing to expensive veterinary treatment: “I wanted to keep him. He’s my son’s little hero, so I need to keep him around,” Sipes explained.

Cats and their extraordinary challenges

And although what happened to Opie – a misadventure rather than a real rescue – is not an ordinary event, many cat lovers will be able to tell tales of the exploits of their small felines, more than many other animals subject to prejudices of various types ranging from accusations of opportunism to total independence from their owners. Their discreet proximity, funny anecdotes about their passion for the boxes or the incredible hiding places that they choose don’t make them heroes exactly, but irreplaceable companions all the same. Do you have any tales to tell about the amazing feats of your hero cat? We’d love to hear them!