Soldier Afghanistan cat, Sgt. Stubby fundraising to bring cat companion home.

Dogs and cats have always been a great source of comfort for soldiers.

Sgt. Stubby, the terrier mutt, alerted soldiers to poison gas and incoming artillery shells in World War I. Tiddles the cat was on several British ships, logging over 30,000 miles at sea during his career. Both animals retired to a home with a soldier.

Nowadays, it’s more common than ever for soldiers to bring home pets adopted while deployed. In fact, a Delawarean in Afghanistan is raising money to bring home his buddy, Sully the cat.

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When Dan met Sully

Dan Brissey is on his fourth overseas tour as part of the National Guard. He started in the military later in life than most. When he joined in 2000, at age 31, he was one of the oldest in his basic training class. He spent a year working at the Pentagon as military police immediately following 9/11.

Now 50, all of Brissey’s children are grown and he’s coming up on retirement. Following deployment, in January, he’ll return to his wife and home in Seaford.

Brissey is stationed in Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital and largest city, working as an engineer at a construction site. He noticed an orange kitten one day in a corner of the compound.

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“I immediately recognized her as part of a litter of four I had seen around. She was the only one that made it,” Brissey said.

While stray cats are plentiful in Kabul and around Brissey’s compound, many of them avoid humans.

“I know from experience that a lot of these kittens are feral. I’m never able to get close to them,” he said. “But I’m an animal lover and if I see a kitten I want to pet a kitten. So I got down on my knees and she crawled right up to me and put her paw on my leg.”

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Brissey became pretty attached to the cat he called Sully. He couldn’t leave her in Afghanistan, so he started trying to make arrangements to get her to Seaford. To do that, he needs to raise money through the clinic.

Saving war dogs and cats

Nowzad is the only animal rescue in Afghanistan, as far as its founder, Pen Farthing, knows. Since the nonprofit’s 2007 founding, Farthing and his volunteers have assisted over 1,000 soldiers in transporting their front-line pets back home.

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