Ladies and gentleman, meet Hopsee. You wouldn't know it by looking at her now, but only five months ago, I was very close to making a very difficult decision regarding her life. I can't believe that there was a time when I seriously had to consider putting her down. No, she wasn't ill. She was just a victim of circumstance, and apparently very misunderstood.

When my stepfather died in March, I had to find a solution for his cat, the aforementioned Hopsee. She is 6-years-old and had lived with my stepfather for just about her entire life up until his passing. She was attached to him seemingly at the hip (a little hard to say that about a cat, but you know what I mean). She was very faithful to him.

When my stepfather died I tried to let her stay at his old house for a while, as there was still a border in the house, and I had two cats at home already. That arrangement didn't last very long. Hopsee was at the time, kind of an aggressive cat. She would charge at people's feet, hiss, scratch, claw, and even snap at you if you got too close. The question was, why was she acting this way?

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We didn't know at the time, but my stepfather had a support group meeting at his house just about every morning. I'm choosing to omit the details of that group out of respect for the privacy of those who attended. It's just important to know that it was just about every day and I am guessing now, it was just a little too much stimulation for her. I can't guess what made her become as aggressive as she was. I do think that she was confused and angry because her "daddy" was no longer there.

I'm definitely skipping a lot of details, but about a month after my stepfather passed, I decided I had no choice but to take Hopsee home with me, at least temporarily. I kept her separate from the other cats for quite some time while I tried to find another home for her. I gave her all the food, care, and love that I could give her for a month or so before coming to the conclusion that her aggressiveness was not subsiding. It was at that point where I realized that finding a home for her would be very difficult and even if I did find her a home, I was afraid that she might hurt someone, especially a child.

At one point, I even had to consider the possibility of putting her down. I was pretty confident at the time that she couldn't even be adopted. I feel horrible for even thinking about it, and I am very happy it never came to that.

I decided that I would keep her with me come hell or high water. It took a long time but several weeks later she was roaming the house and slowly getting along with the other cats. There are still some problems on that front today, but she was getting used to being with my family and was starting to accept our love and eventually give it back.

Hopsee, recently sharing some space with my son, Alex.

Five months ago, Hospee would have scratched my face off if she had the chance. Now I can pick her up, hold her, and even put my face right up to hers without the fear of her getting the slightest bit aggressive. There is still a long way to go, and an animal communicator recently said that she kept repeating to her "not my home, not my home."

I am hopeful that one day she will feel like she is "home" with my family and that my "Little Lady" (as I like to call her) will live a long and happy life with us.


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