In Oregon City a cat named Koshka waits for the soldier that saved his life in Afghanistan. Sgt. Jesse Knott came across the feral cat when he was in one of the roughest and most dangerous places on the planet. Jesse was stationed in an Army base located in southern Afghanistan when he saw the cat wandering around the base. He said “I remember he came limping out from one of the barriers. We had these giant concrete barriers to protect us from mortar attacks, I saw a blood trail behind him as he was limping.”
He suspected that the cat had been abused by people in the area and he lured the feline into his office with a piece of meat and locked the door behind him. Jesse spent the next seven months feeding Koshka, gaining his trust and nursing him back to health. He said “Koshka gave a lot of love back to me. He was the thing that got me through some of my darkest times on that deployment, when two of my friends were killed in a suicide attack I lost all hope. It was my darkest time and he’s what got me through it. Just the bit of compassion and love that cat showed me is what it took to remind me to stay strong.”
When Jesse’s deployment ended and he had to leave Afghanistan, he knew he just couldn’t leave Koshka. He contacted a non-profit in Kabul to help get the permissions to bring the cat back with him. Jesse’s parents paid for the $3,000 flight to bring Koshka to Oregon City. Koshka currently lives with Jesse’s parents until he is discharged from Fort Lewis. Jesse said “I miss him so much. I think about him all the time.” He went on to say “it means more than I could tell you, that cat saved my life.”
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