A Soldier’s Encounter with a Special Needs Kitten
Christine Weber Bouldin, during her service in the US Army, encountered a unique feline in 2008. The setting was Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, marking the final deployment in her eight-year service. Her heart-wrenching discovery? A special needs kitten named Felix and his mother struggling to survive.
Initial Rescue Mission on the Base
The word around the base highlighted a mother cat and her kitten. More disturbing were reports of them being targeted by stone-throwers. This distressing information led Bouldin on a mission to locate these vulnerable animals. She soon discovered a tabby cat with her month-old kitten, Felix, having difficulties with movement.
Bouldin’s Determination to Help
Bouldin had never witnessed a feline with such physical hurdles. The sight of Felix struggling to stand, often flipping over, triggered a wave of compassion within her. Taking matters into her hands, she started nurturing the cat duo daily. Her connection with the felines deepened, leading her to brainstorm ways to bring them back home. But then, the mother cat disappeared.
Building a Home for Felix
Concerned about Felix’s safety, Bouldin, along with a friend, constructed a makeshift home. It became a regular visiting spot for Bouldin, who frequently brought treats and toys sent by her mother from North Carolina.
Understanding Felix’s Condition
Felix suffered from Cerebellar Hypoplasia, a non-progressive, yet lifelong condition that impacts kittens exposed to certain viruses before birth. Despite this condition affecting his motor skills, Felix remained as healthy as any other cat, encapsulating his indomitable spirit.
Bouldin’s Relentless Efforts to Bring Felix Home
Bouldin was facing an impasse, unable to figure out how to get Felix back to the U.S. A breakthrough came from a canine veterinarian who introduced her to Pam Constable, an American animal rescuer in Kabul. This gave Bouldin hope.
Felix’s Journey to the United States
Bouldin returned to the U.S. in 2009, keeping in touch with Constable. She patiently waited until spring for Constable’s return to Virginia and shelled out nearly $2,000 to fly Felix home. The cost was immaterial to Bouldin, her sole focus was Felix’s wellbeing.
Felix: The Colorado Cat
Today, Felix enjoys his life in Lakewood, Colorado, alongside Bouldin, her husband, William, and their other rescue cat, Gus. This heartwarming story underscores Bouldin’s dedication and the unbreakable bond between a soldier and her rescued special needs kitten.