As American soldier Christine Bouldin neared the end of her deployment in Afghanistan, she never expected that she would find her next family member before returning home. But that all changed one day when Bouldin spotted a cat and kitten near the army base.
It was evident that there was something wrong with the kitten – it wobbled and had difficulty walking. As it would turn out, the kitten had cerebellar hypoplasia, a condition which affects the cerebellum and alters a cat’s balance. Cats with cerebellar hypoplasia can live comfortable lives, but they do require special care in order to keep them safe.
Bouldin named the kitten Felix and began feeding him and his mother out of her meal rations. Bouldin tried to get the cats a ride back to the United States with the canine unit’s transportation, but was told that it wouldn’t be allowed.
One day, Felix’s mother disappeared. Bouldin continued caring for Felix as she asked around to try to find a safe home for the kitten. When a veterinarian recommended that Bouldin contact Pam Constable, an American who was performing animal rescue in Kabul, Bouldin became one step closer to ensuring Felix’s safety.
Constable was able to care for Felix while Bouldin returned home to the United States. When Constable flew back to the United States a year later, she brought Felix with her and reunited the cat with Bouldin. Felix now lives with Bouldin and her second cat, Gus.
It all goes to show that persistence pays off for Bouldin and the very lucky Felix.