A Sergeant in the Army had to deal with some heartbreaking experiences in Afghanistan. While there, he met some incredible people. But one bond stood out: that between a cat who the soldier starting taking care of – and the cat took care of him in return. What happened next will warm your heart.
13. An Unexpected Hero
Jesse Knott did not expect to end up in the military. at age 30, he was working as a software engineer. But one night in 2005 he watched a young Marine on 60 Minutes. the Marine was on a frantic search for a fellow Marine. Tragically, that service member had been killed in action. That’s when Knott, with tears streaming down his face, decided he should volunteer to be in the military and do his part.
12. A Mouser
By 2010, Jesse Knott was a military officer who had become a Seargent in the Army. When he was deployed to Afghanistan in 2010, Knott met a feral cat who was hanging around the base. The cat’s name was Koshka, and he was extremely adept at keeping the mice at bay.
11. In Need of TLC
Knott bonded with Koshka. But there was just one problem. Other people on the base were not taking care of the Army’s top mouser. “He was showing some signs that people weren’t really taking good care of him,” Knott told CNN. “I found paint in his fur a couple of times, and then, people took a pair of clippers and shaved his back.”
10. A Deep Bond
Soldiers aren’t really allowed to have pets, but many form friendships with animals overseas. Knott decided he would help the kitty out. After wracking his brain about what he could to help, he decided to keep Koshka in his office. Nobody really knew Koshka was his full-time pet.
9. A Tragic Day
Having Koshka helped Knott get through his days. He had no idea how important the cat was to him, however, until an awful tragic day in December of 2011. A suicide bomber killed Knott’s two friends and comrades. When Knott heard the news, he excused himself to go back to his office where he could cry. Koshka was there to sooth him, crawling into his lap for comfort.
8. Love and Care
“I’d lost hope in myself, I’d lost faith,” Knott said. “And all of a sudden, this cat comes over and just reminds me that, hey, you’re you.”Koshka’s gentle ministrations helped bring him back to his situation. Since Knott was still in a war zone, he had to remain calm and in control despite his grief.
7. Friends Forever
As his deployment came to any end, Knott found himself thinking more and more about what would happen to Koshka. He knew the cat couldn’t survive without him. If Koshka was going to survive for much longer, he would need to bring the cat to the U.S. “He pulled me out of one of my darkest times, so I had to pull him out of one of his darkest places,” Knott explained.
6. A Way Out?
Knott tried to get Koshka on an American convoy, but that didn’t work out. Then he started to worry that he might not be able to find a way to get the cat home. Finally, an Afghan interpreter who worked with the Army said he would take the cat to Kabul and once there, put the cat on an airplane to America. It was a brave thing for him to do, since the Taliban would kill him if they found out that the interpreter was working with the Americans.
5. A Risky Move
Knott knew it was risky but he had to try. He took a deep breath, said goodbye to the cat and sent him with the interpreter to Kabul. Knott soon received word that the two had made it safely to Kabul. Then the second part of Knott’s plan started to take shape.
4. Flight Across the World
Knott’s parents paid for the cat to fly across the world. First he had to go to Islamabad, Pakistan. Then he had a layover and boarded a flight to New York. From New York, it was on to Portland, Oregon. Knott’s parents were waiting eagerly for Koshka’s arrival.
3. All the Way Home
Koshka made it to Oregon safe and sound. He stayed with Knott’s parents while the family waited for Knott’s deployment to end. When Knott arrived home, he was so pumped to see his cat. And when the cat saw his old friend, he was excited, too!
Now at eight years old, Koshka is still a member of the family. He loves being with Knott and they even take adventures. Knott made a Facebook page for Koshka and he enjoys sharing their outdoors experiences with their friends and fans.
1. Happy Life
Koshka and Knott survived a terrible situation together, but they came out on the other side. Koshka is yet another example of how a pet can change a person’s entire life, just on instinct. Knott in turn changed Koshka’s life forever, helping him to live a new and exciting life.