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Stray Cat And Suicidal Veteran Rescue Each Other

An Army veteran who suffered a brain injury in the Iraq war was at a low point in his life, and felt that there was no hope for him. He decided to end it all. Just as he went out for one last smoke, something rustling the bushes caught his attention. That's how he found a reason to live.

Army Sgt. Josh Marino served in the Iraq war, but after suffering from a brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder, he had lost the will to live. He was in mental anguish, and he made the difficult decision to take his own life.

Marino planned and prepared to commit suicide. He even wrote a note. “I did not want to deal with it anymore,” he said. “I took out one of my knives... I wrote a letter on my computer and went outside to smoke one last cigarette,” the soldier said in a short film called Josh & Scout, a Mutual Rescue.

As he stood there smoking, steeling himself for what he was about to do, the Sgt. heard a rustling in the bushes and a soft 'meow' sound. A tiny black kitten came out of the bushes and headed straight for him.

“He just walked up and started rubbing up against my leg and let me pet him, I broke down crying, burst into tears,” said Marino. “Maybe he knew there was something I couldn’t quite handle.”

Marino knew he couldn't commit suicide, because he now had this little black kitten to worry about. He couldn't let the little cuddly fur ball down.

“I stopped thinking about all my problems and started thinking about his problems and what I could do to help him,” Marino said.

In caring for someone else, Marino learned that he could allow someone to care for him. He named the cat 'Scout' and they took care of each other for a while. It fueled Marino's will to live.

One day, though, Scout stopped coming around to visit. Marino says his heart was broken, but he was slowly moving forward. He started dating someone and began to fall in love.

The couple decided to go adopt a cat. The soldier had told his girlfriend what a positive impact Scout had on him, and thought that getting another cat would be good for him. When they got to a cat adoption event, a paw reached out to grab the soldier's attention.

“All of a sudden a little black and white paw shoots out from a crate and starts smacking me in my left arm,” he says. It was Scout!

“I opened up that cage, and I pulled him out, and I held him tight.”

Marino adopted Scout, and the two have been together ever since. Things only got better from there.

Marino got a medical discharge from the Army and married his girlfriend. He started taking better care of himself: he quit smoking, started eating right and exercising. He also went back to school and earned a Master's degree in clinical rehabilitation and mental health counseling. he now works for the Department of Veteran Affairs counseling disabled vets.

He feels he owes it all to Scout.

“In my opinion, real men like cats,” he jokes.

Source: Animal Channel
Photos: Post-Gazette, YouTube

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