HomeA Global StoryPoppie in Afghanistan - How it Started - 2007

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/customer/www/poppie.developmentwork.net/public_html/plugins/content/contentmap.php on line 47

Deprecated: Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/customer/www/poppie.developmentwork.net/public_html/plugins/content/contentmap.php on line 153

Poppie in Afghanistan - How it Started - 2007

Poppie is an unusual cat because he comes from Afghanistan.  Poppie at the compound in Kabul - Spring 2008He walked into our compound in Kabul and immediately rubbed against the legs of everyone including the guards. This meant he was not a feral cat, though he never did this again.  We think someone might have dropped him off with us, hoping that foreigners would feed him.  He was very weak and thin and I thought he might be suffering fatally from one of those diseases cats get.  My husband insisted on bringing him into our little house in the compound but in my view, he would then become “our cat” and we could not leave him behind when we left.  My husband agreed, not knowing the consequences of this action.

This so far unnamed cat just needed food and some attention and he improved.  We used the services of a young local veterinarian who had an office nearby. He made a house call since we didn’t have a carrier and brought medicine for worms and gave the cat several shots.  We noticed that the cat walked oddly and the vet thought he had been hit by a car and needed ground up calcium tablets to speed up his recovery.

In the meantime, Poppie ended up with a name “borrowed” from another cat in Kabul who was a) female and b) had a red tail.  Poppie, who is male and black and white, has not suffered from gender identification issues as our British friend has threatened since Poppie or Poppy is a popular name for female cats in the UK. The poppy is a significant and red flower in Afghanistan, of course. We added the “ie” to try to make it slightly more masculine.

When Poppie’s walking did not improve, we consulted a British vet who was in Afghanistan as an advisor for an agricultural program.  He had done some small animal practice but could not identify the problem specifically; only that it was part of the central nervous system and probably would not get better.  It didn't matter as Poppie, who the vet declared to be about eight months old, was using the litter box (yes, there was very expensive litter in Kabul) and responding to his new name.  There was also very good and relatively inexpensive cat food in Kabul and Poppie gained weight.  He wasn’t very affectionate at the time, pulling his head away when we petted him but we would wake up with him sleeping between us.  He would come running up to me in the garden when I came home from work making the guards laugh, as his gait was so peculiar.

We did connect with Tigger House, the animal shelter started by Pam Constable, the Washington Post reporter. The vets there, who had been trained by British and other foreign vets, neutered Poppie. They also noted that the other Afghan vet who had started a “pet passport” for Poppie had given him a rabies shot for dogs!  Poppie hated the trip to Tigger House and howled the few blocks in the car, an indication of traveling issues to come.

The time came when we had to leave and Poppie was going to come to the U.S. with us.  I had to depart before Poppie was able to get on a plane to Islamabad, Pakistan, the first leg of his trip to the U.S.   Poppie could not come with us, as we had to travel through Dubai, which had complicated quarantine issues so he had to go a different route by himself.  We dropped him off at Tigger House and hoped for the best.

Newer news items:

Other articles:

Back to Previous Article


+1 # Joanne 2011-03-06 15:02
Oh, this is such a heart breaking story. I am so happy that Poppie is doing well. I also have a cat with CH and more people need to understand that they are lovely animals who just need a bit more care.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0 # sarah. 2011-03-16 10:40
Poppie is so sweet
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote

Add comment

Security code

Great Poppie Art

Poppie Art YellowInspired by his epic journey, Poppie has produced art for you to enjoy. Please click here for Poppie Art.


A True Story

Poppie Art Neutral CollorFollow Poppie's journey through life as a tale of endurance, hope, love and friendship.


Helping Other Poppies

Poppie Art RedOther Poppies are helped by the Afghan Stray Animal League and the CH Kitties Club.