Like virtually all combat veterans, Josh Marino had seen some awful things in the line of duty. He’d also suffered a brain injury during a mortar attack. All of this meant that when he came home, he really struggled.
Josh’s physical injuries were a problem, but his mental scars and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) are what made his life a living hell. He wasn’t able to focus and do things that most of us take care of without a second thought. He was also easily frightened and angered.
As time went by, it all became harder and harder for Josh to bear. One night, he just couldn’t take it anymore and decided it was time to end it all. He went outside to smoke a final cigarette, little suspecting that things were about to turn around. He heard something moving in the shrubbery. Then there was a meow and a black-and-white kitten appeared. “He just walked up and started rubbing up against my leg and let me pet him. I broke down crying, burst into tears. Maybe he knew there was something I couldn’t quite handle.”
The kitten, who he named Scout, became a regular visitor, enjoying the food Josh gave him and a knee to nap on. “I stopped thinking about all my problem and I started thinking about all his problems.”
It was only when Scout stopped showing up that Josh fully realized that the little cat really had saved his life. Several months later, he and his girlfriend went to the Fort Riley Stray Animal Shelter, plan to adopt a cat. “All of a sudden a little black and white paw shoots out from a crate and starts smacking me in my left arm. I looked inside, it is the same little black and white cat. I opened up that cage, and I pulled him out, and I held him tight.” Needless to say, Scout now had his forever home.
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