Skip to comments.Story Behind the Photo of Kitty Adopted by Soldiers in Kuwait [w/pix]
Posted on 02/04/2013 11:45:50 PM PST by Slings and Arrows
Kevin Davidson, a US soldier Pfc. shared a photo of him and their adopted cat in Kuwait on reddit. It went viral. He explained the story behind the photo:
His name is PFC Bartholomew. I did not find him. I support another unit and their Lieutenant found him on Christmas Eve and realized how much the soldiers would love having a cat, Kevin wrote on reddit. Despite the fact that adopting as pets or mascots, caring for, or feeding any type of domestic or wild animals is a punishable offense under the UCMJ, taking in a furry local is commonly overlooked, Stars and Stripes reported.
I was sitting in my tent with two of my soldiers and I heard a meow. I went outside and found this cat laying on one of the [temporary barriers]. I picked him up and brought him in our tent to show him to everyone. Later Davidson let the cat out, but the kitty kept coming back inside. After that, the cat just sort of moved into our tent with us. (via Stars and Stripes)
The troops who found the cat brought him into the base and started giving him food and petting the little feline. Because the cat was a risk for rabies and disease, the commander of the unit wanted to euthanize the feline. Instead, the company executive officer took the cat to the nearest installation with a veterinarian.
He took him to a vet and had had him vaccinated, neutered, a chip put in, and his ear notched so people would know he was safe . He has already obtained 2 confirmed mice kills but the rat has been evading him for a week. Ive promised him a membership to the Fish of the Month Club if he kills the rat, Davidson added.
Its tough for these soldiers to leave their families and go to an active-duty installation to train. So this cat was the first thing I could hug or really show any affection to. It was very therapeutic, said Davidson (via Stars and Stripes).
After seeing how he raised my morale and the morale of my team, I couldnt take him away from all those soldiers still [based] there. After having a cat for a few weeks, I can honestly say that more pets for deployed soldiers would help with the depression and probably cut down on the amount of suicides. Im not saying I considered suicide while deployed, but I had some dark days missing my wife and kids.
Don’t you ever sleep?
Sleep is for people who can’t handle caffeine.
These soldiers are doubly blessed. By G-d and by Ceiling Cat.
A most wonderful article.
It was against the rules, but my unit adopted a dog under similar circumstances. He started hanging around the unit, so some of the guys took him to the vet. He moved in with us once he had a clean bill of health.
I agree with the comment from the soldier that these pets could have a significant impact on suicides. Until you see how much love these animals get and give in the field, it’s hard to understand the impact. They are great stress reduction, and the services should make formal policies for unit mascots (if they don’t already permit them).
I’ve never been in the service, but knowing how much love I get from my furbabies I agree 100%.
Since when were pets a UCMJ offense? Our outfit had a goose, a snow leopard (at one time), the First Sargent had a monkey (someone hung that vicious POS), three cats, and off and on chickens when we could keep the Vietnamese from eating them. Officers played with them and admired them as much as we did. The goose was a good alarm when sitting in a bunker.
My father was a Vietnam vet and told me lots of stories about pets soldiers had... snake, dog, and yes a disgusting monkey. He said that the monkey was dispatched by “someone” after it made a mess in a supply area. He hated that thing.
I hope he can bring him one when he comes home. Cute story, slings. Pets really are comforting... at least they are to me. Hugs, Mom
“Sleep is for people who can’t handle caffeine”.
I thought you took little cat-naps during the day so you could prowlllll at night?!
Smart cat to have a acquired a personal bodyguard for protection and food service!
There will be plenty of time to sleep when we're dead. :-)
Never looked at it that way. You’re right of course.
” Despite the fact that adopting as pets or mascots, caring for, or feeding any type of domestic or wild animals is a punishable offense under the UCMJ”, HUMMM I was in the United States Navy for 20 yrs, 1 Month, 18 days and I never heard THIS!
Yeah, good idea....let's desensitize/demoralize our troops as much as possible. They can have a pet when they get stateside, after they discover they are homeless/jobless. ///sarc
I didn't write the article. Maybe the author knows more about cats than military law.
That ginger kitty in the carry-bag on the soldiers belt is probably one of my all-time favourites.
I also love this one, the backpacker kitty:
Life would be rather bleak if it wasn’t for all the wonderful kitty stories. Thanks for the pings and the photographs.
Unless it's been rescinded CENTCOM General Order 1B, Para. 2J prohibits, "Adopting as pets or mascots, caring for, or feeding any type of domestic or wild animal."
I guess lower level commanders aren't to be trusted to deal with such matters on a case-by-case basis.
Always a pleasure.
I love a happy ending:
Me too. And so do the kitties.
I’ve got a book of civil war era drawings by a Union soldier from Indiana and in it he drew his general as he was barking orders from outside his tent- with a pet raccoon on his shoulder.
There is also a national battlefield where there are statues of soldiers representing various state regiments and on the back of one of these monuments, below the staue of the soldier, is a smaller bronze one of that regiment’s loyal lady, a pet dog. Can’t for the life of me recall where it was, though.
Meet Able Seacat Simon of His majesty's sloop-of-war Amethyst. The warship had been traveling up the Yangtze River to provide security for the British embassy to Nationalist China in Nanking when communist gun batteries opened fire and she was forced aground with heavy casualties.
Despite suffering severe shrapnel wounds in the attack, Simon fiercely guarded his ship and crew from hundreds of rats that swarmed aboard from the mud bank they were grounded on to attack the ship's dwindling food supply and the crew as they slept in their bunks.
When the ship finally escaped three months later, Simon was brought back to Britain as a hero. Sadly, he died of an infection in his wounds just a few months later. He was awarded the Dickin's Medal (a British military medal for animals), the only cat so honored, and the entire crew of Amethyst attended his funeral.
Speaking of which... a US advisor captured in Vietnam was aided through his captivity by a pair of eaglets given to him by his guards to raise for food; by this time he'd seen most of his fellow captives die of neglect and malnutrition. Even starving as he was he considered the young eagles more valuable to his morale alive than dead, and their clutzy and comical stage brought a little joy into an otherwise miserable situation. But when they grew older and took to attacking the guards when they approached, the guards forced him to kill them. It steeled his resolve against the enemy propagandists. Later on, a dove that was as starved as he was landed in his cage and helped pull him through a particularly punishing period as he fed it what little rice he had, and ultimately he made his escape with it tucked into his shirt.
Maybe instead of providing islamic jihadist psychologists like the Ft. Hood shooter to counsel wounded troops, the military should be more open to using these wandering strays that warriors through the ages have always used to heal... God-given companions that listen and do not judge and that are miraculously forgiving.
RIP warrior kitteh. You served well.
He was a true Viking Kitteh.