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