Soldier and her cat are reunited thanks to shelter’s helping hand

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Andrea Jackson and Olivia
Photo via Paws and Whiskers

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A soldier was reunited with her beloved cat following her tour of duty, thanks to the shelter that kept and cared for the kitty at no charge.

US Army Specialist Andrea Jackson was reunited with Olivia at the Paws and Whiskers no-kill cat shelter in Toledo, Ohio earlier this month. Paws and Whiskers cared for Olivia so she could return to her petmom when the soldier returned home.

Paws and Whiskers told the story at Facebook on October 13, writing: “About a year ago PAWS got an email for a soldier in Texas who had left her cat with her parents when she left for active duty. Her parents had fallen on hard times and and could no longer care for her cat. She was desperately looking for someone to take her feline friend Olivia. We asked if she was surrendering Olivia or if she would like to be reunited when her tour was up. She said she would really like to return to Olivia but if she had to surrender she would do that because she wanted her to be cared for. Because her guardian was serving our country and wanted Olivia back we agreed to let Olivia live her at PAWS until her guardian’s discharge at no cost to the service member.

“Today was homecoming as Olivia went home with her mom.”

The Toledo Blade reported on the story today and filled in the details.

Andrea left Olivia with her parents in Holland, Ohio three and a half years ago when the Army sent her to Fort hood, Texas, where she served as a military intelligence analyst with the 615th Aviation Support Battalion. She was also stationed in Korea for a year.

“I knew she always had a home with my mom and dad,” Andrea told the paper. “They would take care of her.”

About a year ago, Andrea’s parents, Michael and Laurie Jackson, lost their home and their daughter scrambled from afar to secure placement for Olivia.

“I was having a meltdown. She’s my baby,” she said. “It was definitely heartbreaking. I didn’t want to give her up, but I was getting ready to do that if I had to.”

When she couldn’t find a safe place for Olivia with acquaintances, Andrea started calling shelters, and Paws and Whiskers came though with the best possible arrangement for the petmom and her cat.

“We’ve always had the policy to help people in the military any way we can,” said shelter manager David Plunkett. “Military people have a lot on their minds with their other duties and are worrying about their pets too. We had to figure out a way to help her.”

Olivia spent her time with Paws and Whiskers living at the shelter, with roaming privileges in the building. She was let out from her cage frequently to help keep her from becoming too stressed

“She’s a sweet kitty,” the shelter manager said. “It was hard to see her go, but we’re happy she’s been reunited with her family.”

Andrea and Olivia were reunited at the shelter on Monday, October 13 before going to the parents’ apartment in Springfield Township.

“I was ecstatic,” Andrea told a Toledo blade reported who visited her at her parents’ apartment. “She’s had no problems adjusting.”

“She’s the queen again.”

“I’m just forever grateful to Paws and Whiskers. They are the most caring people I’ve ever met.”
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Photo, Amy Voigt for the Toledo Blade

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