Christine Bouldin might be a tough soldier, but she has a soft spot for tiny, sick kittens. When Bouldin was on her last deployment in Afghanistan, she came across a small kitten with special needs. Someone had told her that a cat and kitten were wandering around the base. She immediately went to find them.
Bouldin then found the tabby kitten. She had huge ears, and she couldn’t walk without falling to one side.
Bouldin wasn’t sure what was wrong with the kitten, but she knew she had to help. She explained:
“I’d never seen a cat like that. I felt so sorry for her. She couldn’t stand up and would flip over.”
She found out at the kitten was suffering from cerebellar hypoplasia.
According to Kitty Chronicles:
“Cerebellar hypoplasia (CH) is a disorder in which the cerebellum part of the brain doesn’t develop completely before birth. The cerebellum is a region of the brain that plays a major role in motor control and coordination. Having underdeveloped cerebellum results in jerky movements, uncoordinated motion, and tremors.”
Bouldin started to care for both the mother cat and the kitten.
The kitten was scared of her at first and hissed when she came to check on them. Once the mother started to come around, though, the kitten learned to trust Bouldin, too.
Later, the kitten’s mom left her behind, and she needed someone to care for her. Bouldin knew she couldn’t leave the sick kitten behind. She started to care for the kitten. Bouldin carried the kitten around and made sure she had plenty to eat and drink. Bouldin became attached to the kitten, and the kitten depended on her for survival. Bouldin explained:
“She was so sweet, and I could tell she appreciated me taking care of her when her mom left. She makes me cry sometimes still because she looks at me like I’m her mom.”
As it came time for Bouldin to return home, she decided that she wanted to take the kitten.
She had to find a way to get the kitten back to the United States. She knew it wouldn’t be easy, but she wasn’t about the leave the kitten behind.
One day, she took the cat, whom she named Felix, to the vet and was told about an animal rescuer in Kabul who might be able to help.
She contacted Pam Constable, who agreed to foster Felix in Kabul until Bouldin could get her home. It was still hard for Bouldin to let the kitten go. She said:
“It was a little over an hour to get to our base from Kabul, and you’re always in danger of IEDs … I was worried about her. I didn’t know if I’d see her again — if they wouldn’t allow me to bring her home. I’m pretty sure I cried.”
Constable was impressed with the cat and how healthy she was in spite of the medical condition.
She believed that Bouldin had definitely saved the kitten’s life. She said:
“She 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.”
Thanks to Constable’s help, Bouldin eventually was able to get Felix back home with her.
Felix is doing well and even has a snuggle buddy. Although she is still wobbly when she walks, she can still do everything other cats do. She had no problem getting around, she eats well, and she can get in and out of the litter box without any issues.
“She greets me, and her little tail vibrates because she’s so excited,” Bouldin said. “(Felix is) an angel sent to me from God.”
Felix and Bouldin are now both safe at home and get to share their life together. They both were there for each other, and Felix has an amazing life to look forward to with someone who will always take care of her.
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