Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A troop mascot in Iraq, a cat lands safely in Washington, D. C.


Sgt. Ballz arrived in the U.S. Tuesday. ( Courtesy photo )

A wanted man in Iraq, Sgt. Ballz is ready to make the United States his home.

The cat, formerly a resident of an American base in Tala Far, Iraq, became a mascot of the 1-230th Army unit out of Tennessee. With the base closing soon, orders were sent that there were to be no more animals on base.

When U.S. Army CW2 Cheryl Anderson, a member of the unit, and her fellow soldiers were told that those present would be euthanized by being shot to death, they decided to save their cat.

Anderson, a native Northern Californian and sister of Cindy Dover of Red Bluff, and her fellow soldiers launched a campaign they called Free 'Dem Ballz, enlisting the help of friends and family.

The group even created a Web site with a variety of items from hooded sweatshirts and tank tops to ties and binders to raise funds to bring the cat home.

Ballz, the apparent victim of a dog attack, was very thin and had a broken tooth when he first arrived on base, but quickly became the chief morale officer and mascot of the unit, Anderson said.

On Tuesday, Ballz, accompanied by members of SPCA International and fellow refugees from other areas named Elvis, Boo Boo, Squeaky, Spot, Oreo and Jasmine, landed at 3:50 local time at Dulles International Airport in Washington, DC, Dover said.

Ballz will be quarantined in Washington for two weeks and eventually live with a medic and serve as mascot of the Tennessee National Guard.

Profits from the Web site previously going to save Sgt. Ballz will now be sent to SPCA International to help bring other animals home, Dover said.

15 comments:

Cory said...

This story makes me want to purrr!

Glogirly and Katie said...

What a wonderful and heart warming story! Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

mew!
Katie
(Glogirly's cat)

meowmeowmans said...

We love happy endings! Thank you for sharing. :)

Angel and Kirby said...

Great story!

Inigo Flufflebum and d'Artagnan Rumblepurr said...

Bring the fluffies back home!!

MISS PEACH ~(^.^)~ said...

Amazing story of hope and love and determination to be free!
PS: I really do not mind Miss Hunny Bunny as long as she stays out of my living room...sorry I sounded less than genteel...sometimes I forget myself.

Brian said...

Way to go team...the good guys win another one. We wish you all the best in America!!!

Bruce said...

That sure is a Cinderella story for Baltz!

Gracie said...

Sgt. Ballz is one lucky cat!

Ginger Jasper said...

Thats fabulous.. Heartwarming.. Hugs GJ x

minekatter said...

Lovely story! And what a beauuutiful kitty!

Eric and Flynn said...

It is so nice to hear good news. We are very glad Sgt. Ballz and the other kitties are going home to a happy life.

A Few Good Cats said...

Welcome home, Sgt. Ballz! Sure would love to bring home all the humans, too...

The Wall Family and Ballz ;) said...

Sgt. Ballz is my dad's new cat. He was over in Iraq where nobody would take him home. Ballz is now fatter!!! I have spent the last week and two more weeks to come with my dad and the new addition of Ballz to the family! HE looks like a totally different cat! HE loves to attack a scratching post, and chase his favorite toy mouse. He is so spoiled it's hilarious! Everyday when we come in the house from an errand or even taking a walk, my dad always gives Ballz a treat! He is very loving and friendly, and VERY playful! Ballz's family would like to thank everybody who has supported him or helped him make his safe journey from Tal Afar, Iraq to Nashville, TN!! Thanks to everybody :)

Derek @ Make A Cat Tree said...

What a wonderful story. So happy for Sgt. Ballz. I love when cats like this get spoiled. They deserve it. After all, they spoil us with all the smiles they bring to our lives.