Memorial Day: Cats and Soldiers

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Today is Memorial Day in the United States, a day when we honor the memory of the men and women who have died in military service. It’s also a day to recognize the sacrifices of our military personnel and thank them for their service. And one of those many sacrifices involves leaving beloved pets behind during deployments.

It’s not surprising that many soldiers take care of the stray cats they meet overseas to get a little bit of furry love while they’re away from home. Cats work their magic even in war zones. Even though military regulations prohibit soldiers from adopting stray cats (and dogs), military leaders seem to recognize the value these animals bring to the morale of combat soldiers, and they appear to turn a blind eye to the practice. We’re also seeing more stories of soldiers bringing these rescued cats home to the US with them.

Clyde, the orange tabby in the photo at the top of the post, charmed her way into the hearts of soldiers and contractors at a base in Afghanistan. Read her full story on Love Meow.

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Nowzad, a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, has been instrumental in facilitating rescues such as Clyde’s, as well as Crackers, the tortie pictured above, by helping soldiers bring these strays home with them. They operate the only official animal shelter and clinic in Afghanistan. For more information about their work, and to see more rescue stories, please visit http://www.nowzad.com.

As you enjoy spending time with your cats today, take a moment to remember the service members halfway around the world who are separated from their families, both furry and human, and thank them for their service and sacrifice,

Photo at top of post via LoveMeow, photo of Crackers via Nowzad

10 Comments on Memorial Day: Cats and Soldiers

  1. Ozzie Spor-Ockey
    May 27, 2014 at 9:39 am (5 years ago)

    Sniff Sniff just uh cried a little from that warm fuzzy feeling i just got. Thank you soldiers for all your hard work and sacrifice and thank you for helping animals and people.

    Reply
  2. Sue Brandes
    May 26, 2014 at 7:11 pm (5 years ago)

    Loved your post. Happy Memorial Day.

    Reply
  3. Carole Nelson Douglas
    May 26, 2014 at 12:35 pm (5 years ago)

    Very inspiring! Thanks, Ingrid. I had an uncle in the WWI trenches. (I’m the youngest grandchild, and my uncle enlisted from Canada when he was sixteen. He really wanted to help win the war! He spent months in the trenches and was in hospitals for six years after the war. He could play every board game invented and always beat me when I was a child. 🙂 He was told to move to the Southwest or he wouldn’t live–lung damage, I imagine, from mustard gas. When I knew him he was very stooped, but lived until a car accident in his early sixties.

    My aunt, his wife, told me she’d always loved cats because one had slept on his feet in the trenches and kept him from frostbite or worse. Thanks for honoring the bond between soldiers and animals in times of war in your post today. That celebrates “humanity” at its best.

    Reply
  4. Bopeeps
    May 26, 2014 at 12:06 pm (5 years ago)

    Great story.

    Happy Memorial day all and Ingrid. Allegra, and Ruby

    Diana, Lucy, and Rikki

    Reply
  5. Caren Gittleman
    May 26, 2014 at 11:48 am (5 years ago)

    loved this!!! Thank you so much for sharing!

    Reply
  6. Glogirly and Katie
    May 26, 2014 at 11:02 am (5 years ago)

    What a beautiful and heartwarming post. So purrfect, so meaningful.
    We hope you enjoy a wonderful holiday!
    xo

    Reply
  7. toni / rctees
    May 26, 2014 at 8:39 am (5 years ago)

    Just lovely Ingrid. A very nice reminder of why Memorial Day is celebrated.
    Hope you and the girls have a good day!

    Reply
  8. Mason Canyon
    May 26, 2014 at 7:37 am (5 years ago)

    Ingrid, very inspiring post and a good reminder. Wishing you and the girls a safe and Happy Memorial Day.

    Reply
  9. Leyla
    May 26, 2014 at 7:13 am (5 years ago)

    have you heard of the kitties that prison inmates adopt? it’s a rehabilitation program in some prisons and in others the inmates just take care of the strays that hang around the grounds.

    Reply
    • Ozzie Spor-Ockey
      May 27, 2014 at 9:38 am (5 years ago)

      That is amazing!! I think it is so healthy to do that. thank you for sharing. do you have any more information about it?

      Reply

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