Staff Sargent Jesse Knott and Koshka Kitty Hero Koshka on chair

Screenshot from CNN

Who knew that a kitty could be a hero to a hero? “He was my saving grace, he kept me alive during that tour,” says Staff Sargent Jesse Knott. The “he” being referred to is a beautiful kitty named Koshka (Russian for “cat”).

Knott met Koshka in June of 2012 while stationed in Afghanistan.  Koshka was a stray that was not well treated by the local people; Knott noted that at one point Koshka had had paint spilled on him and another time had parts of his fur shaved off. Knott decided to take Koshka under his wing after finding him with injuries to one of his paws and hips.

Staff Sgt Jesse Knott and Koshka Kitty Hero Cuddle

Staff Sgt Jesse Knott and Koshka
Screenshot from CNN

Little did Knott know that the cat he intended to save would save him. In December 2011, a suicide bomber struck a military convoy killing 2 of Knott’s friends. Knott was all but inconsolable when Koshka touched him gently with his paw and curled up in his lap.  Koshka’s love and affection made if possible for Knott to finish the tour.

Knott knew he couldn’t leave Afghanistan without Kashka even though military flights wouldn’t allow the cat on board. It took $3000, a very brave Afghan local (who could have been killed by the Taliban for helping an American, and 3 months to get Kashka safely home to Oregon. The Knotts family has no regrets about all they went through to get their kitty hero home.

Interview with Staff Sgt. Jesse Knott from CNN