Soldier on rescued Afghanistan cat: 'He was my saving grace' - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

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

Posted: Updated:
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Crime Stoppers searches for suspected rapist

    Crime Stoppers searches for suspected rapist

    Friday, August 22 2014 10:26 AM EDT2014-08-22 14:26:14 GMT
    Authorities are asking for the public's help in tracking down a suspect wanted for forcible rape, home invasion and felony theft. He is described as 5'7" and weighs about 160 pounds.More >>
    Authorities are asking for the public's help in tracking down a suspect wanted for forcible rape, home invasion and felony theft. He is described as 5'7" and weighs about 160 pounds.More >>
  • Viral Video: Goliath grouper snags 4-foot shark from fisherman's line

    Viral Video: Goliath grouper snags 4-foot shark from fisherman's line

    A fisherman off the coast of Bonita Springs, Florida thinks he has a pretty nice catch. As he reels in a four-foot shark, his catch is stolen by an even bigger fish. A massive grouper pulls the sharkMore >>
    A massive grouper steals a four-foot shark from a fisherman's line off the coast of Florida.More >>
  • Neighbor says father accused of beating son to death usually kept to himself, boy rarely seen

    Neighbor says father accused of beating son to death usually kept to himself, boy rarely seen

    Friday, August 22 2014 7:19 AM EDT2014-08-22 11:19:15 GMT
    A man who lives in the neighborhood of the father arrested in the beating death of his 5-year-old son said the dad was quiet and the child was rarely seen.More >>
    A man who lives in the neighborhood of the father arrested in the beating death of his 5-year-old son said the dad was quiet and the child was rarely seen.More >>
OREGON CITY, OR (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."

Copyright 2013 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow