Memorial Day: A Day to Remember Lost Loved Ones

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To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die. ― Thomas Campbell

Today is Memorial Day in the United States, a day when we honor the memory of the men and women who have died in military service.

For many people, it’s also a day to remember all departed loved ones, and for most of us, that includes our beloved felines. I’m remembering Amber, Buckley and Feebee today. All three of them changed my life in ways I never could have imagined. I miss them every day, and I treasure the legacy they’ve left behind.

As you remember your lost loved ones today, please take a moment to recognize the sacrifices of our military personnel and thank them for their service.

Not surprisingly, cats work their magic even in war zones. Even though military regulations prohibit soldiers from adopting stray cats (and dogs), military leaders seem to recognize the value these animals bring to the morale of combat soldiers, and they appear to turn a blind eye to the practice. We’re also seeing more stories of soldiers bringing these rescued cats home to the US with them.

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This was the case when Staff Sgt. Jesse Knott, a decorated, battle-tested army seargent, rescued his cat, Koshka, while serving in Afghanistan. KFVS TV in Oregon reports that even though soldiers aren’t 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. We previously reported on Staff Sgt. Jesse Knott, a decorated, battle-tested army sergeant, who rescued his cat, Koshka, while serving in Afghanistan. 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.

Operation Baghdad Pups was founded by SPCA International to provide veterinary care and coordinate complicated logistics and transportation requirements in order to reunite these war zone cats and dogs with their service men and women back in the U.S. These important animals not only help soldiers while in the war zone, they also help them readjust to life back home after combat.

This heart touching video shows photos of some of these war zone cats, and the soldiers who care for them. By saying nothing at all, these cats bring some love and light into the lives of these soldiers.

httpv://youtu.be/RV8ulnKRWNQ

Photo of Staff Sgt. Knott with Koshka from KFVS-TV

10 Comments on Memorial Day: A Day to Remember Lost Loved Ones

  1. Bernadette
    May 27, 2013 at 11:24 pm (6 years ago)

    Now there are some cat guys who aren’t afraid to let others know. It’s really not a surprise, cat guys have been there all along, it’s just that no one noticed. And I’m so glad the military has recognized the importance of animals–not the least of which is to formally retire military working dogs instead of abandoning them or euthanizing them. Imagine the trauma to the service person who worked with them!

    Happy Memorial Day, and even though some memories may be painful it is all for love.

    Reply
  2. Ingrid
    May 27, 2013 at 4:41 pm (6 years ago)

    I’m so glad you all enjoyed this post – it was a pleasure to write it.

    Reply
  3. Mary Beth Randall
    May 27, 2013 at 3:23 pm (6 years ago)

    This was a wonderful post. Today is one day of several that I remember my father-in-law who served in WW2.

    Between Tom and I we have a number of family members who have served or are currently serving. We think of them lots for sure.

    Over the years it has been wonderful to see how cats and dogs have made a difference in the lives of soldiars. I am glad that there are groups which do the work they do to bring animals back to the soldiars who addopted them while serving in war zones. They are to be thanked as well for what they do.

    Mary Beth, Tom, and the fur kids

    Reply
  4. Marg
    May 27, 2013 at 3:07 pm (6 years ago)

    Great post. And Happy Memorial day to all of you. Hope you have a great day. That is such a wonderful video of the soldier and the little kitten. Take good care.

    Reply
  5. Caren Gittleman
    May 27, 2013 at 11:39 am (6 years ago)

    this was superb! Thank you for posting!

    Reply
  6. Texas, a cat in New York
    May 27, 2013 at 11:30 am (6 years ago)

    These pictures of big, strong soldiers with tiny kittens are priceless. Obviously, they bring some much to one another.
    This is a really moving post. Thank you.
    Carine & Texas

    Reply
  7. Sue Brandes
    May 27, 2013 at 10:02 am (6 years ago)

    Wonderful post. I am remembering my BearBear. And at my favorite rescue Maddie.

    Reply
  8. Long Life Cats and Dogs
    May 27, 2013 at 4:39 am (6 years ago)

    So beautiful. Yes, the smallest things can remind us that life is worth living and love is worth giving.

    Reply
  9. Viki Worden
    May 27, 2013 at 1:20 am (6 years ago)

    Thank you so very much for this post and the video. My one cat Cisco was laying on my lap as I was reading and watching the video. It brought tears to my eyes. I have been watching a memorial concert for soldiers on our PBS station. I have been crying off and on for a few hours. The video made me happy to see solders smiling with the help of these cats and kittens. Also, I know the cats and kittens are smiling too because they found love in a not so nice place. They have both helped each other. My cats are helping me too. My last child is graduating this year, as a matter of fact, next month and then will be going off to college. That leaves me alone. I am so thankful I have my cats to keep me company. I am thankful for all my cats that are in heaven now. They have all brought me joy, comfort and love.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      May 27, 2013 at 4:40 pm (6 years ago)

      What a lovely comment, Viki. I know your cats will be a comfort to you and help make that “empty nest” feel not quite so empty.

      Reply

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