One army soldier found a little extra comfort during a recent deployment in the Middle East, in the form of a stray kitten. In fact, she credits the kitty with helping her get through the emotionally wrenching period.
And now, Army Sergeant Ash is trying desperately to bring her new best friend home, when she returns to the United States. An organization called Guardians of Rescue is doing their best to keep these besties together, but they’re going to need plenty of help.
Sgt. Ash and the tiny kitten met thanks to the army soldier’s roommate, who worked for a veterinarian on base. The calico kitten was only a week old and near death when she was found off post, and wound up at the vet. The tiny cat was barely surviving, and needed care around the clock.
Ash committed herself to the kitten’s health, even keeping her in a box on her nightstand to keep watch through the night. Twice the kitten almost didn’t make it, but she kept fighting. And with Sgt. Ash’s loving care, she survived.
“Once she overcame being sick, [Sgt. Ash] decided to name her Rona, which was after the coronavirus,” Guardians of Rescue shared in a release. “Because she felt that the virus is tough to fight, and Rona had put up a great fight.”
Guardians of Rescue is an animal rights and welfare organization. They spend their time providing assistance, education, and other help to all animals and their owners. And according to their website, they “come to the aid of those in distress.”
They are no strangers to reuniting soldiers and the pets they met on deployment, either.
“We know all too well how important and lifesaving these pets are to our soldiers stationed in the Middle East,” said a statement from Robert Misseri, president of Guardians of Rescue. “When they come back home, they can’t bear to leave them there, and we agree that it’s not safe. Leaving the cat in the Middle East will end up being a death sentence for it.”
Currently, Guardians of Rescue is working to navigate Sgt. Ash and Rona through the complicated process of international pet travel. It’s not as simple as putting a cat on a plane, unfortunately. There are fees associated with medical screenings prior to being approved for travel, plus expenses of the travel itself.
“We will make every effort to bring Rona home to her, but we need the public’s support to help make it happen,” said Misseri.
Guardians of Rescue have now set up a fundraiser in order to help Sgt. Ash cover the costs and raise awareness about her story. With the help of many, they’re helping Ash and Rona stay together for many years ahead — and saving little Rona from certain death.