It wasn't the first time Cleo scratched me while trying to annihilate Eric's gentle cats that made me realize it. It wasn't the second, third, fourth or even the fifth. It wasn't the first, second or sixth time she ruthlessly tackled Old Man, Jack or Moxie. It wasn't even the time she lunged at Jack and they rolled down an ENTIRE staircase head over tail like one blood-curdling ball of screeching fury.
It was when she turned on Caesar, my other cat, when things got REALLY bad. Cleo had known Caesar for six years. Never a problem had been had. Hell, these cats would curl up together to sleep. I suppose having too many cats in one house was a slowly boiling pressure cooker that gradually brought my sweet Cleo to her breaking point.
The last (and final) violent outburst on Cleo's end involved her climbing Eric like a tree to get to Caesar, who was being held by the scruff of his neck as far away from her as possible to keep him safe from Cleo's dark wrath. It was after seeing Eric completely bloodied from being caught in the middle of this insane cat fight when I finally realized with a sinking heart: It was time to find Cleo a new home.
As soon as I learned the lesson of loving Cleopatra enough to let her go, and put out the intention to find her a new home, something magical happened. One very beautiful woman materialized, expressing interest in having her as her pet. She was the only person who came to look at the cat. When their eyes met for the first time, a kismet recognition rippled through the room. Cleopatra pranced straight up to Maurieke and kissed her on her "third eye".
It was love at first sight.
Knowing that Cleopatra is now being treated like the queen she is gives my heart peace. I had to love her enough to let her go. I suppose it's all a part of the heartwarming & heartbreaking experience of having pets.