Hero Cat Saves The Soldier Right After Hero Soldier Saves A Cat

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(Newswire.net — September 11, 2014)  — A kitten was obviously abused, presumably by other soldiers. A couple of times, the cat turned up with paint on his fur, and once a strip of fur had been shaved off from head to tail. The day he appeared from behind a concrete barrier trailing blood from an injured paw, Knott decided to take action.

Pleading a refugee situation, he asked permission from his CO to bring a cat to base.

Under Knott’s protection, the cat (who he named Koshka, Russian for “cat”) became something of a mascot for 3rd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, H Company (“Hawk Company”), as soldiers stopped by the office to play with him. While the soldiers initially thought they were helping the cat, in fact it was the other way around.

Returning from long and difficult missions, foot patrols with walks up to 25 miles a day, soldiers would stop to see Koshka before eating or resting. Koshka helped distract Knott from chronic pain caused by injuries he suffered during a prior deployment in Iraq, when a land mine destroyed the armored vehicle he was driving, leaving Knott with lasting nerve damage.

On Dec. 8, 2010, in Afghanistan, a foot patrol went out without Knott; he was in too much pain that morning to join them.

“On their return trip, a suicide bomber walked into the middle of their formation and blew himself up. Everybody in the formation was injured, and I lost two good friends,” Knott says.

Anguished by the loss — and the knowledge that he hadn’t been there to help — Knott fell into a deep depression. He planned to commit suicide.

That’s when Koshka stepped in.

“I was in my office,” Knott says, “and he just started purring and head-bonking me, and patting my face with his paw. He climbed up on my shoulders and my head — I just could not get a moment to myself.”

In those moments, Knott was reminded that his life was connected with other lives, and from then on when he grew depressed, the cat helped bring him back.

Koshka had rescued him. Knott decided he needed to return the favor. He would get the cat to the United States.

So he did.

“To me, the cat represented the innocence of what we were doing in Afghanistan,” he says, “and he (cat) was the one thing I had at least a modicum of control over protecting. Even after he’d been abused, he still was able to trust people, he still had that faith,” said Knott.