When Angelica Sipe heard gunshots, she could barely even realize what was happening.
Sipe, her son Daemire, and their cat Opie were all at home on a Thursday morning when Angelica heard bullets firing.
"It took me a second to realize what just happened. The first thing I did was check on my son and he was sound asleep," she says.
But when Angelica looked to Opie, she noticed something was wrong. Opie was laying on the floor motionless. He had stood in the way to protect Daemire from danger, and had gotten himself injured.
"[The bullet] came in the top of his head, out the bottom of his neck, and back into his shoulder and out his armpit rib area," said Sipe.
"It could have been my son...He was my son's little hero, so I need to keep him around," she said. Opie's vet bills weren't cheap, though. He required surgery, a drainage tube, and stitches. The costs were over $1,000, but Angelica knew it was a small price to pay for her son's life.
A GoFundMe page was created to help pay for Opie's medical costs, and within a week it raised more than $2,000. Angelica Sipe can never fully explain the gratitude she feels towards her cat.
"I am thankful for my cat and am in any way possible going to make sure he comes back home where he belongs," Sipa wrote. "He is my hero."