A US Army sergeant stationed in the Middle East nursed an abused and injured cat back to health — and now that she’s headed back to the US, she needs help bringing the feline with her.
Army Sergeant Rode — who is only identified by her last name to avoid reprisal from the military — said when she met the scruffy orange cat she later dubbed Bubba, he was bloody, frail, injured and absolutely terrified of humans, according to the nonprofit Paws of War.
Rode said it was clear Bubba had been fighting for his life for a long time, so for many days, she left food for him and waited from a distance to make sure that he was eating, slowly building up his trust.
Eventually, Bubba allowed Rode to sit with him from just a few feet away while he scarfed down the food she left. Soon enough, he was purring and allowing the sergeant to handle him and the two became inseparable, Paws of War said.
“Bubba is such a wonderful cat, and he greets me every time he sees me and purrs loudly whenever I pet him,” Rode said in a statement.
“I have formed such a great bond with him, it took me so long to gain his trust, and I can’t fathom the thought of leaving him behind once I get deployed back to the U.S. He has been a wonderful companion and provides me so much comfort when I need it most. I could not leave this cat behind to suffer and die. He trusts me, and I won’t let him down.”
Rode is hoping Paws of War can help because the military can’t get involved with animal rescues and it’s very expensive and complicated to bring an animal to the US from overseas.
“This is a story you can’t help but to love and want to get behind,” Dereck Cartright, a disabled veteran who works as the stateside logistics coordinator at Paws of War, said.
“Sgt. Rode saved Bubba, but there’s only so much she can do on her own.”