Military woman refuses to abandon sick kitten
In 2008, Christine Weber Bouldin first met Felix, a kitten with special issues who needed help. She completed her final tour at Bagram Airfield after eight years of service in the US Army. Lifelong animal lover Christine has even smuggled some hermit crabs to keep her company in her pocket. She made it her duty to go out right away and find the cat and her kitten after learning they were roaming around the base and that people had been throwing rocks at them.
What she found was a tiny kitten with ears half his size that was unable of walking without flopping side to side. She told People Pets that she had never seen a cat like that. “I was truly sorry for her. She was unable to stand up and often fell over. Felix has Cerebellar Hypoplasia (CH), a condition that affects motor skills but is not progressing. She walks with a wobble but otherwise is as healthy as a typical cat.
When Christine first came, the kitten growled at her out of fear. Felix, however, began to relax when the mother began to behave trustworthily, such as softly stroking Christine’s knee. Christine would bring them food and water a couple times a day to take care of them. The kitty, who had previously been extremely cautious, now allows her human buddy to hold her steady as she eats. The furry family was continuing to grow and it was time for Christine to start thinking about how to safely bring both kittens home.
Later that month, the mother, whom she named Sandy, gone missing, leaving behind Felix, and Christine started to wonder how she would manage to take both pets home. Because animals weren’t allowed, she and a friend built a temporary residence out of sandbags for the kitten, but Felix was too clever. Even though she was unable to walk, she was nevertheless able to scale the sandbag wall and then drop over the other side.
Later, a friend made Felix a tiny home where Christine could visit twice daily to care for her feline child. She sent cat snacks and toys that her family in North Carolina had provided. She looked forward to her closest friend’s company every day, which became the highlight of her days.
They grew close, and every time Christine went to visit, Felix would give her the warmest hugs. She was quite kind, and I could sense that she valued my care for her after her mother left. She still makes me cry often because she treats me like her mother.
After Christine’s request for a ride back to the States was rejected by the canine unit, she felt helpless without a way to bring Felix home. Then, one day, as Christine was giving vaccines to Felix, a vet contacted her with an animal rescuer in Kabul who could assist. After regaining hope, she soon contacted Pam Constable, who promised to foster Felix in Kabul and eventually bring her back to the US.
Christine paid $300 to hire a car to pick up Felix at the base’s back gate and take him to Constable’s Animal Shelter in Kabul. We travelled from Kabul to our base in a little more than an hour, and IEDs are never completely ruled out. I was worried about her. I wasn’t sure if they would allow me take her home or if I would ever see her again. I guess I broke down in tears,” Christine recalled.
Christine returned home in February 2009. Constable had to wait until the spring to return to Virginia, and in the meantime, she had to pay about $2,000 to fly Felix back. “I didn’t even care what I had to pay, I would have sure paid more,” claims Bouldin. To get her cat, she would have to travel five hours from North Carolina. Christine adds, “But she warmed up to me very soon. Felix was a little nervous at first.”
Regarding Constable, “I knew I would miss her… But I was glad that she managed to return to the rescuer after all of that. After a long travel, Felix has safely arrived at his house. Even better, she now has a daily cuddling partner in the form of a furry pet. They are “two peas in a pod,” she says.
Despite his slight instabilities, Felix is able to jump, play, and pounce just like any other cat. Even using the litter box is not a problem for her. She was successful in getting what she needed done. Pam told People Pets that it is “very motivating to observe an animal like that just battle to survive” because so many people don’t love animals.
Christine claims that she can always count on her little Felix to help her feel better, just like she did frequently during her deployment. They can always rely on one another, thus they won’t ever be apart. Felix is an angel that God sent to me, the woman stated, adding that when she welcomes me, “her small tail vibrates with joy.”
Credit: Pam Constable
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