As a veteran herself, Karolyn Smith says she knows what veterans need: a purring kitten.
She came to this epiphany when she rescued two kittens from a San Diego shelter, including one named Sophia, whose back leg was amputated when she was found with her umbilical cord wrapped around her paw.
When she learned of the cat’s disability, “I was thinking, no problem because I have friends who are amputees, and I started thinking, ‘Oh my God, I could solve this problem, too,’ ” she told WIAT 42 News.
Smith, who has dubbed her furry friend the “Bionic Cat,” was an army sergeant wounded by a roadside bomb in Iraq; she knows firsthand how difficult it is to live with post-traumatic stress disorder. She believes Sophia can help veterans, some of whom may connect with the cat because she’s a fellow amputee.
“I guarantee you, you pick up a little kitten and five minutes later your day, which was not so hot, is just like ‘aww,’ ” said Smith.
After she learns how to get around with it, the goal is to make the kitty a therapy cat for veterans, WIAT reports, since therapy dogs aren’t always a perfect fit for everyone.
“I know what it takes to get up, dust yourself off and fight through,” Smith writes on GoFundMe. “Having PTSD, I really wanted a doggy, but then I found [Sophia and Leonidas.]