Soldiers are amazing people. Every day, they serve our country, putting their lives on the line to preserve our values and rights. They face indescribable horrors and dangers, some that many of us could not even imagine. In fact, in a study called Stress and Emotional Well-Being in Military Organizations, authors state that being a soldier was ranked the most stressful job in the entire United States. It’s no surprise though. Soldiers are often exposed to physical danger, forced to spend long periods away from home, and hold the lives of other people directly in their hands. To get through to the other side in one piece, it’s important to have a way to cope.
Julie Cordes is a soldier who has discovered her way of coping in the form of a special cat named Sophie. The adorable tabby supports and comforts Julie during the stresses of day-to-day-life. Julie cannot imagine her life without the little fluff and brings the cat wherever she goes.
Julie’s daughter was the one who originally brought Sophie home. After the kitty got acquainted, however, she developed an incredibly close bond with Mama.
“We soon became buddies and traveling companions,” Julie explained. “She has lived with me in Illinois, Arizona, Kansas and now Maryland.”
“I tell her she’s my best friend. She’s very affectionate and playful. She makes me laugh out loud and definitely has a sense of humor.”
When Julie is going through hard times, Sophie is the first one there to comfort her. She snuggles up close to her human, dishing out loving nuzzles and purrs. When they’re away on a work trip, Sophie always makes things fun by running around and playing games. It’s almost like the little tabby can sense when her Mama needs her.
“Sophie helps me stay sane with all the moving we’ve done. If I get upset, she talks to me and stays close by. She has put her paw on my mouth to calm me.”
Julie admits she was never a cat person. But her relationship with Sophie has changed that. “She’s had a significant impact on my love for animals generally… and my love for cats specifically,” the soldier explained.
“She’s a precious jewel. She teaches me about unconditional love and patience.”
And even though soldiers have a tough life, Julie is lucky enough to have her best friend and source of support beside her through it all.
“I love her. She knows this. We’re family.”
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