A wounded kitten under threat of death from Afghan soldiers is to be flown thousands of miles to safety – to Bletchley.
The near-dead ginger tom was found in a rubbish bag about to be stamped on by Afghan army guards in Kandahar.
Former Milton Keynes college student Ben Soden, who works as a private security guard for the British Embassy, spotted the animal’s plight and stepped in to intervene,
“We stopped the guards and saw the kitten inside the bag with a huge wound on its stomach,” said the 35-year-old former rifle champ.
He and his colleagues nursed the tiny scrap back to health by feeding it coconut milk from their provisions.
When he showed signs of recovering they christened him AK after the famous rifle that is said be indestructible.
Ben said: “AK was like our little dog. He became so reliant upon humans he would follow us across camp to the chow hall and would sleep in different team members’ rooms for the night.
“We would have to nurse his wounds and cheer him up occasionally but a bowl of coconut milk and one of his little mouse toys would see him charging about causing chaos again.”
Ben travels all over the world for his security work, which has including anti piracy duties on the lethal Somalian coast.
But he always returns home to his house in Bletchley between jobs.
He has now vowed to raise the cash to bring AK home for a life of comfort and safety.
This month he paid an Afghanistan national to drive the “deadly” nine hour route from Kandahar to Kabul to take AK to the Nowzad animal sanctuary for the necessary quarantine and tests.
Already the kitten has become a firm favourite with staff at the sanctuary, which was set up by soldiers appalled at the plight of stray dogs and cats in Afghanistan.
He even has his own fund-raising page - www.justgiving.com-Nowzad-AKKitty - and already £690 has been raised for the sanctuary.
Ben, a former soldier and 2006 British Army Sniper Champion, is paying $1,000 himself towards AK’s bill.
A Nowzad spokesman said: “Despite his sad start in life he is a beautiful little boy who loves snoozing on people’s laps and playing with toys. He is a very happy and healthy cat who always seems to keep going no matter what.”