Soldier Refused to Leave Special-Needs Kitten Behind

After traveling thousands of miles to North Carolina, the kitten has started a new life in a loving home with the soldier who nurtured her in Afghanistan.

Christine Bouldin with Felix, Bagram Air Base.
Christine Bouldin shares a quiet moment with Felix.

Christine Bouldin was nearing the end of her last deployment with the U.S. Army in Afghanistan when she saw a cat and a kitten wandering near the base. Bouldin was shocked by the sight of the kitten, who had trouble walking and appeared to wobble.

“I felt so sorry for her,” Bouldin says. “She couldn’t stand up and would flip over.”

Bouldin, an intelligence specialist, started feeding them using rations from mealtime, and soon it became a regular ritual. She learned that the kitten, whom she dubbed Felix, had cerebellar hypoplasia. The disorder affects the cerebellum, and thus, movement.

These cats can still lead healthy and happy lives with extra help. Bouldin had become close with the pair and couldn’t bear the thought of leaving the cats behind.

She started asking around to see if the cats could hitch a ride back to the United States with the canine unit, but no such luck. Then the mother cat disappeared and never returned. Bouldin kept Felix as safe as she could until she could find a solution. A veterinarian who had given Felix shots mentioned Pam Constable, an American performing animal rescue in Kabul.

Making herself right at home.

Bouldin contacted Constable, and Felix was able to stay in Kabul while Bouldin returned home to Colorado in 2009. Despite her having “a lot of special needs,” says Constable, the kitten “found ways to do what she needed to do.”

“It’s very inspiring to see an animal like that just fight to live because so many people underestimate them,” says Constable.

When Constable flew home the following year, she returned with Felix and was able to reunite her with Bouldin in North Carolina.

Now Felix lives in Colorado with Bouldin and her family, including another cat named Gus.

Source: People Pets

Kristine Lacoste

View posts by Kristine Lacoste
Kristine Lacoste, editor in chief of Petful, is an author, poet and pet lover from Louisiana. She is the author of an award-nominated book, One Unforgettable Journey, and was host of a weekly pet news segment on the National K-9 Academy Radio Show. She was the New Orleans coordinator for Dogs on Deployment, a nonprofit that helps military members and their pets, for 3 years. She is also employed as chief operating officer for a large mental health practice in Louisiana. Kristine has a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a bachelor’s degree in English and a Master of Business Administration degree.

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