Soldier Falls in Love with Cats on Deployment, Now Desperate for Help to Relocate Them to America

Photo courtesy of Paws of War


Photo courtesy of Paws of War

Those with a cat in their family know how important the bond can be. When a cat bonds with someone, they are fiercely loyal and loving. This is why Air Force Staff Sergeant Rivera is desperate to get his fur babies relocated to Texas as his tour overseas comes to an end. He can’t imagine walking away from the bond he created with the pair, especially leaving them in harsh conditions without a home.

“Staff Sgt. Rivera reached out to us for help to get his cats moved to Texas so they can live out the rest of their life with him and his family,” says Derek Cartwright, a veteran and coordinator at Paws of War. “We have helped many people in this situation, and we are happy to be able to step in and assist with this mission as well. We need the community’s support to pull it off, but it can be done.”

Staff Sgt. Rivera noticed the cat hanging outside the base, looking frail and needing some help. She made her way near the barracks, and that was all it took. Staff Sgt. Rivera saw her and fell in love, naming her Noonie. He took her in, helping to nurse her back to health. The two bonded and spent all the time together that they could.

One day, he was unable to find Noonie anywhere. He was sad as three days passed, and there was no sign of her. Then on the fourth day, she came to the barracks carrying a little kitten in her mouth. The baby looked like her, with the same markings, and Staff Sgt. Rivera knew he had to help with Noonie’s baby, calling the little one Naanie. They were both in poor health, hungry, and dehydrated.  The three became a family, bonding and appreciating each other’s company.

Now that Staff Sgt. Rivera’s tour is ending, and he is heading back home to Texas; he is faced with leaving his fur babies behind to the unknown or trying desperately to get them to Texas to live with him. When he leaves, they will certainly be in danger. Opting for the latter, he will only stop once he can get the support he needs to bring his babies home.

Staff Sgt Rivera could not bring them to safety on his own, so he enlisted to help from Paws of War. But time is of the essence and Paws of War needs help funding these expensive missions.

“We can make this happen and keep this family together in America, but these missions are complicated and expensive” continues Cartwright.

“Noonie loves to be at my side at all times of the day. She would even try to follow me to work some days,” says Staff Sgt. Rivera. “I feel like they are my own children and would love to give them a better life back home.”

To help support the mission of getting Noonie and Naanie to Texas to live with Staff Sgt. Rivera, visit the site:

Paws of War has been operating worldwide since 2014, helping the military save the animals they rescue while deployed overseas. They have helped veterans with numerous issues, including suicide prevention, service and support dogs, companion cats and dogs, food insecurity, veterinary care, etc.Paws of War has a large loyal following of supporters and looks forward to working with new corporate sponsors to support these life-saving programs. To donate, visit its site at:


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