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Kristine Maxwell, The Cat Veteran

Kristine Maxwell is a disabled Veteran from Live Oak, California, who worked in the US Navy as an officer for nine years. Yet, the harsh realities of her previous occupation have never diminished her love for others. In fact, Kristine’s warzone got relocated to another place: the veterinary clinic.  


Set Sailing To The Marine Unit

Kristine’s bravery and empathy have always been her strongest assets. Her qualities proved to be particularly helpful at the start of her career as a nurse in the Navy. Before she knew it, she got deployed to a Marine unit in Iraq where she had honourably served her country for many years, till tragedy struck. During one of her missions, she was involved in a gruesome military incident which cause irreparable damage to her Nervous System. After undergoing thorough medical tests, she got diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), an illness which affects the brain and the spinal cord. MS often leads to serious disabilities, so Kristine is still going to the doctor on a regular basis.  

With Her Six Cats, Through Thick and Thin 

Jackie and Charlie
Jackie and Charlie, Kristine Maxwell’s Facebook

Kristine is a go-getter, therefore, her health issues never stopped her from doing what she knows best: taking care of the less fortunate ones. She is now the proud mother of six cats: Charlie, Boo, Bear, Echo, Spike and (Black) Jackie. Charlie got its name after the famous actor Charlie Chaplin, but unlike his beloved films, Charlie was not always the protagonist of a feel-good slapstick comedy. Charlie and Jackie were sick at three months old when she rescued them from a shelter in Texas. Amongst their innumerable health issues, the kittens had Giardia, tapeworms, mites, calicivirus and pneumonia. 

Kristine, however, refused to give up on Jackie and Charlie, and after consulting with a veterinarian, they started an intense treatment with antibiotics. After a year and a half, Jackie could be vaccinated against the aforementioned parasites. Still, due to repeated fights with the calicivirus, Jackie got pneumonia again. Now he is susceptible to various respiratory diseases but on the whole, antibiotics seem to do the trick for Jackie.

Fighting For Charlie

Charlie the cat
A Photo of Charlie, @maxwellkristine

On the other hand, Charlie seemed on his last legs. He had been to several vets and was unresponsive to all treatments. Many veterinarians wanted to put him to sleep because they could not even alleviate his pain. 

Fortunately, Kristine was referred to a gifted veterinary internist who saved Charlie’s life. The vet suggested that Charlie should get a feeding tube since Charlie also had digestive issues. Before getting the feeding tube, Charlie could not eat due to his weakened sense of smell. After having it implanted, Charlie could finally enjoy the nutrients in his food, but his mishaps were hardly over. The internist discovered that his respiratory system required special procedures to enable Charlie to breathe normally. Hence, the vet flushed out his nasal passages, scoped his upper respiratory tract, cultured his nasal mucus, and biopsied pieces of his nasal membrane and of his nasal bones and turbinates. He also had a Computed Tomography (CT) of his upper respiratory tract. 

When it seemed that Charlie was finally getting better, he stopped eating. His veterinarian had another diagnosis: enlarged liver. Paired with his weak respiratory system, this health issue proved challenging to handle even for the adept internist. After months on end of trial and error, the vet finally managed to stabilise Charlie’s condition. He will forever have asthma and chronic bronchitis for which he takes medication. Nevertheless, Charlie can enjoy a mostly normal cat life.   

Help Veterans To Keep Fighting


The fact that both Jackie and Charlie are feeling better is Kristine’s merit. Like a truly devoted nurse, she kept fighting for her cats even when experts told her to give up. Yet, her perseverance comes at a high price: her bills. We believe that Kristine’s devotion to her cats is worth every penny, so we urge you to donate here. To get in touch with Kristine, you can contact her on Instagram at @maxwellkristine and Facebook at KristineMaxwell.

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