Cash, left, and Schwarma, above, who now have
forever homes in the UK and USA. Read their
I CAN only imagine how it must feel to be a serviceman or woman serving in a foreign land with danger around every corner. You have your colleagues but you desperately miss your family and friends back home - and of course you miss your pets.
It's no wonder that many people in the Forces and the staff who support them befriend stray cats and dogs when they are abroad. The animals bring a softness to a hard existence and caring for them takes the soldier's mind off the horrors going on around him, at least for a short time.
But what happens to these animals when it's time to go home? Many service people are desperate to take them back with them.
Fortunately there is an organisation that helps them do that. Nowzad is charity which was set up in 2007 that has helped 700 soldiers serving in Afghanistan to be reunited with their cats and dogs back in their home countries, inclding the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Italy, South Africa, Holland and Germany.
Even with the withdrawal of troops, the work goes on. Nowzad operates the only official animal shelter in Afghanistan located just outside Kabul and supported by a small animal clinic headed up by ex-pat Louise and her team of Afghan nationals.
One kitty featured on the Nowzad website is Cash who wandered to the door of a British contractor one day. The contractor saw no harm in letting him in for a few minutes for some tuna fish and a cuddle and right there and then Cash had found himself a furever home. Cash's mother was nowhere to be found. She had either abandoned him or had died, no one was really sure.
For more details of the work of Nowzad and more stories of cats and dogs they have rescued, visit their website HERE.