It would be a clear and direct understatement to say that we’ve been unkind to the dogs and other animals who have fought side by side with us in times of war. Indeed, hundreds of devoted dogs who served their warrior companions during the Vietnam War were left behind to face an uncertain future. As sad as this is, the tide slowly began to turn due to public awareness, with war dog museums and memorials rising up, alerting the public to the reality of the situation. However, while it’s true things are getting better, there are still many obstacles and red tape to overcome if a soldier wishes to bring their dog or cat back home. Such is the story of a U.S. soldier seeking financial aid to help the cat he saved overseas, such is the story of Kaiden, a lone gray tabby, and the best of the best: Paws of War.
A Lonely Stray and a Soldier
Cats bring out the emotions in people, no doubt about that. Stray cats even more so. One day, U.S. Army Specialist Kaiden perchanced to notice a lone, shadowy figure slinking around the base. Upon closer inspection, Kaiden saw that it was a gorgeous stray cat. As Kaiden watched, he noticed that the little striped tabby would emerge from the shadows, only to sit up high on a stack of tall, weathered wooden pallets. It seemed the little creature was quite interested in the goings on at the base, but always stayed at a distance, watching. When the cat was discovered, others tried to approach, only to have the little gray tabby run away. Army Specialist Kaiden had taken a special interest in the little critter, now known as Tiger, thinking long and hard on just how to gain the cats trust. Finally, Kaiden came up with the answer, one that proved to be the perfect solution. Kaiden thought that if he also sat upon the pallets, he could have a better chance of watching exactly how the cat reacted to people. As it turned out, Kaiden’s decision to sit on those pallets was all that was needed, Due to the nonstop efforts of Army Specialist Kaiden, Tiger began to feel a bit more secure at the base, and around people. In fact, Tiger’s appetite began to improve in such a way that she was even gaining weight! Oh, if we didn’t already mention it, Tiger turned out to be a girl, and a very lovely, kind and sweet one at that. However, it was soon noticed that her ballooning tummy wasn’t just due to the addition of extra kibble. For you see, Tiger was going to be a mother!
SPC Kaiden: Bringing Tiger Home
What was once nothing more that a stray cat at a military base, now became a mission, as Dereck Cartright, logistics coordinator at Paws of War stated, “SPC Kaiden has a strong bond with Tiger, and now he needs her to safely be sent back to her home in America. We want to do everything we can to help make this happen, but we need the assistance of the public to successfully pull off the mission.” When the day came for her to give birth, Tiger did a fabulous job and introduced three gorgeous little kittens into the world. Needless to say, Tiger was an amazing mom. Not only tat, but being around all those highly trained and brave warriors at the base must have rubbed off on her, as she was extremely protective of her new babies. Time trotted on, and soon her beautiful babies were old enough to get new homes of their own. Sadly, once her babies were homed, Tiger was on her own again. SPC Kaiden couldn’t allow this to happen to such a fabulous cat as Tiger. After all, Tiger was his companion, his buddy. Tiger even rode on Kaiden’s shoulders, followed him around. Tiger even began to become friendly with the other residents of the base. No indeed, there’s no way that this amazing feline should be left overseas to fend for herself. Kaiden needed help. Kaiden needed a plan. This is easier said than done. Currently, the U.S. military doesn’t make bringing a companion animal home a priority. This is a terrible thing, as we ask so much from our brave warriors when they are deployed, yet we can’t do a little thing like allowing them to have a companion overseas and bring it back home with them. Enter: Paws of War.
Paws of War
Though it sounded almost hopeless, they didn’t count on the generous and diligent people of Paws of War. Paws of War is a non-profit organization that works to bring soldiers and the companion animals home to the States. They’ve been so successful, that since 2014 Paws of War have helped to bring over 300 dogs and cats to the States, along with the grateful soldiers who became their friends. They also provide U.S. Veterans with service animals. These service animals all come from kill shelters. In short, their mission statement says it best: To train and place shelter & support dogs to serve and provide independence to our U.S. military Veterans that suffer from the emotional & physical effects of war. In turn, each Veteran can experience the therapeutic and unconditional love only a companion animal can bring. To provide animals rescue for our troops serving overseas. Upon finding out about Paws of War, SPC Kaiden was overflowing with gratitude, “Tiger and I have become inseparable, and I can’t imagine leaving her behind when I live thousands of miles away., I’m grateful that there is an organization like Paws of War that cares enough to help us with this type of situation. I’m also thankful there are people in the community who support what they do, so that they can carry out their mission.”
How to Help
At the time of this writing, Paws of War are doing their best to bring Tiger stateside, so she can be with SPC Kaiden, but it won’t be easy or cheap. As such, Paws of War are looking toward the public to help offset the expenses incurred. These expenses include but are not limited to veterinary care and travel expenses. The story of Tiger and Kaiden is a tale that is told too many times. We send our brave warriors off to strange lands to fight our battles for us, so we can live in comfort. So when one of our courageous fighters finds a little creature to love and care for, it should be second nature for us to relieve them of any hurdles and red tape, in order to be together. If the story of this U.S. soldier seeking financial aid to help the cat he saved overseas has touched you, please donate so Kaiden and Tiger can be together. If you cannot afford to donate, then please share this story. Thank you