Posts Tagged‘US marine soldiers’

Guest Author: Angela Townsend from Tabby’s Place

cute ginger rescue cat
Pikachu | photo by Tabby's Place

Once upon a time, Mango held the honor of having traveled farther than any other cat to get to Tabby’s Place.

Sure, Mango’s home state of Arizona is about 2,000 miles from Ringoes, NJ. But in comparison with Okinawa, Japan…well, we can practically see Arizona out the sanctuary windows. I promised I’d tell the full story of the Okinawa kids, and today I make good on that promise.

Sorry, Mango, but you’ve met your match: it is nearly 8,000 miles from Okinawa, Japan to Ringoes, NJ. For a young Marine (who, for reasons that will immediately become clear, shall hereafter be known as Hero Marine), no distance was too far to save three lives.

kimiko-in-okinawa-shortly-before-her-flight-to-nj-300x208
Kimiko shortly before her flight to NJ | photo by Amanda Nemeth

In 2009, the active duty United States Marine began feeding a mother cat and her kittens outside his apartment. Hero Marine was devastated when his housing agency ordered him to stop feeding the felines. Each day the cats grew weaker, and Hero Marine could not live with their starving to death. Determined to save the cats, he donated $1,000 – an extraordinary sum for a young serviceman – to have the cats rescued, sterilized and given medical treatment.

Alas, the felines were still in grave danger. The shelter housing the cats was to be demolished in mid-2010, at which time the cats would be euthanized by mass gassing.

Hero Marine contacted the Okinawan American Animal Rescue Society (OAARS), and the American Military community raced to the rescue. Volunteers led by OAARS president Miyahira San and Americans Amanda and Andrew Nemeth contacted the cats’ only hope of a long-term refuge: Tabby’s Place.

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cute rescued and marine soldier
Simba & Timothy Kuklis

In Afghanistan, in the midst of war, many animals are lost and separated from their family. Many are found later by troops from the US, UK and Canada. Soldiers rescue these animals and get help from rescue groups that help them send these animals out of the country and to a forever loving home that they deserve.

Three US marine soldiers, Brian Chambers, Chris Berry and Aaron Shaw, started a mission to help bring home the kittens they have befriended while serving in Afghanistan (Facebook group). With generous donations from cat lovers and help from Noward Dogs animal rescue, Kiki and Keykey, two lovely ginger kitties, have successfully made it home in the US. Unfortunately 2 other cats, Simba and Ra-Ko, lost the battle against their illnesses a few weeks ago.

Kiki and his sister Bones were found by Brian Chambers, a US marine.

cute rescued kitten in afghanistan
Kiki taking a nap