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.
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