"He was my saving grace"

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Oregon soldier on rescued Afghanistan cat: ‘He was my saving grace’

KPTV: He’s a battle-tested, decorated army sergeant who risked his life to protect our country. But it’s a more personal risk he took that’s getting a lot of attention.
Staff Sgt. Jesse Knott rescued his cat, Koshka, while serving in Afghanistan. “He was showing some signs that people weren’t taking very good care of him,” Staff Sgt. Knotts said.
Even though soldiers are not allowed to have pets, Knotts made room for Koshka in his tiny office. In the middle of fighting a war, Knotts said the cat was a reminder of his life back home in Oregon City. “You lose faith in a lot but sometimes it’s the smallest things that bring you back,” Knotts said.
It was a lesson Knotts took to heart on Dec. 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,” Knotts said.
Knotts was crying in his office when Koshka came over and crawled in his lap. :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,'” Knotts said. In that moment, Knotts says he realized Koshka could not stay in Afghanistan.
“He pulled me out of one of my darkest times so I had to pull him out of one of his darkest places,” Knotts said.
Unable to get the cat on a military convoy, a local interpreter bravely said he’d take the cat to Kabul. If the Taliban caught the Afghan doing an American a favor, it could mean death. “The risk to him was immense,” Knotts said.
It took weeks to hear back, but eventually Koshka made it to Kabul safely. Knott’s parents paid the $3,000 it cost to fly the cat from the Middle East to Portland, Oregon. For them, it was an easy investment.
“He was my saving grace,” Knotts said. “He kept me alive during that tour.”
Glad this kitty was able to provide comfort for this soldier during a rough time. Loves the happy ending!
h/t Anon

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0 responses to “"He was my saving grace"

  1. This story made me tear up. God bless Staff Sgt Jesse Knotts, the brave Afghan interpreter who took personal risk to smuggle Koshka to Kabul, and Koshka!

  2. Animals can be earth angels, true and loving companions through difficult times, This soldier recognised that because of his own goodness, he rescued a creature that was facing an uncertain future. Most people dismiss and undervalue animals, but animals show us a mirror of our true selves. In the midst of all that fear and violence has come a happy ending. Bless them them all for their courage.

    • I’m tearing up as well. Sometimes it takes the unbiased simplicity of an animal to show us our own humanity. I rescued a feral kitten almost six years ago, and I swear to you I am calmer and less uptight. This was so much more than a soldier finding a cat… this was a man getting a soul-hug from his Creator.

  3. Softness of heart is so undervalued.

  4. God had patron saint of animals, St Francis sent Koshka to look after Sgt Knotts. God love Sgt Knotts for returning her love.

  5. [caption id="attachment_80189" align="alignnone" width="201"]Pangerban Book of Kells, a 9th-century Gospel codex with some magnificent examples of Celtic illumination[/caption]

    Pangerban    9th Century Ireland

    I and Pangerban, my cat, ’tis a like task we are at
    Hunting mice is his delight; hunting words I sit all night,
    ‘Tis a merry thing to see at our tasks how glad are we
    When at home we sit and find entertainment to our mind
    Gainst the wall he sits his eyes–full and fierce and sharp and sly
    Gainst the wall of wisdom I all my little wisdom try.
    So in peace our task we ply
    Pangerban, my cat and I.
    In our arts we find our bliss
    I have mine and he has his.

  6. I stumbled onto the poem when reading a book with the audacious title, “How the Irish Saved Civilization.”

  7. Beautiful! Thank you so very much for giving us this weeper to remind us that soft hearts still exist. I love your site!


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