It’s hard enough being away from your pet for an extended period of time, but as long as you know they’re in the good hands all is well. It’s when things don’t go as planned and you have to scramble for a last minute arrangement that things can get quite stressful, especially when that means that you have no other solution but to involuntarily give your pet away. That’s a very sad situation to be in, but it was a reality for one soldier and her cat. US Army Specialist Andrea Jackson left her cat Olivia in her parents’ care back home in Holland, Ohio when she left for active duty three and a half years ago when she was sent to Fort Hood, Texas and then stationed in Korea for a year. Things were well until she heard news about her parents falling on hard times financially and couldn’t care for Olivia anymore.
About a year ago, Jackson’s parents, Michael and Laurie, ended up getting caught in a financial bind and lost their home, causing Jackson to have to scramble around looking for someone to care for her beloved Olivia while she was away. Having to make arrangements from far away was quite the feat, but that didn’t stop the soldier from trying.
“I was having a meltdown. She’s my baby,” Jackson said told The Toledo Blade. “It was definitely heartbreaking. I didn’t want to give her up, but I was getting ready to do that if I had to.”
After not being able to find a temporary home with acquaintances, Jackson then called around to various shelters and it was Paws and Whiskers who eventually came through, offering the best possible arrangement for the soldier and her feline. The no-kill cat shelter in Toledo, Ohio accommodated Jackson and Olivia’s needs after the soldier emailed PAWS last year. Jackson was desperate for someone and told the shelter that she was like to be reunited with her kitty when her tour was up, but if she had to surrender for beloved cat, she would do it because she really wanted her to be well-cared for.
In the end, the shelter agreed to let Olivia live at PAWS until Jackson was discharged at no cost to her. Olivia lived at the shelter during that time and had roaming privileges, let out of her cage often so as to prevent the feline from becoming too stressed. Jackson and Olivia were reunited on October 13 at the Paws and Whiskers Shelter in Ohio before heading to her parents’ apartment.
“I’m just forever grateful to Paws and Whiskers. They are the most caring people I’ve ever met,” Jackson gushed.
(Photo Source: Paws and Whiskers)