Cat Who Restored a Soldier's Hope Travels From Afghanistan to the US
Koshka the cat restored hope and comfort to Staff Sgt. Jesse Knott when the horrors of life and war in Afghanistan had destroyed them.
Jesse Knott took care of the cat, who had been viewed as just a mouser and was not being cared for especially well, but Koshka gave back more than imagined in return. To show his thanks, and to maintain their bond, Jesse arranged for a dangerous transport across Afghanistan, to Kabul and into Pakistan before Koshka could fly to Oregon City, OR in the US to be with Jesse’s family.
Jesse took the cat in and kept him in his small office on base in Afghanistan, and Koshka became a reminder that life could be normal and peaceful, as it had been back home in Oregon City. “You lose faith in a lot but sometimes it’s the smallest things that bring you back,” Jesse said.
After an attack on December 8, 2011, when a suicide bomber targeted a military convoy near his base in the Maiwand District of Afghanistan,”I was so devastated that I lost all hope. Two of my friends were violently taken away,” Jesse said. He was crying in his office when Koshka came over and crawled into his lap.
That moment marked a turning point: Jesse said, “I’d lost hope in myself. I’d lost faith. Then all of a sudden this cat came over and it was like ‘hey, you are you.’” It was then that Jesse decided that Koshka would go to live with his family back in the US. “He pulled me out of one of my darkest times so I had to pull him out of one of his darkest places.”
The journey out of Afghanistan was not a safe one, and was carried out with great bravery by a local interpreter, who risked his life for the mission.
“He was my saving grace,” Jesse said. “He kept me alive during that tour.”
Now Koshka has been saved, and has a good life in the US.
See the touching story on video, below.