Veteran Says Little Stray Kitten Ended Up Saving His Life

It's hard to imagine what members of the military must go through when they fight in battle. All the Independence Day parades and Veteran's Day picnics in the world are not enough to heal the pain sometimes.

So many who have served come home permanently scarred from their experiences. This is the sacrifice they are willing to make for their country, but it can take a serious toll on the rest of their lives.

Army Sgt. Josh Marino was one of those veterans who came home suffering. While deployed in Iraq, he suffered a brain injury, which resulted in severe post-traumatic stress disorder. Marino was in daily pain and couldn't take life anymore.

He was on the verge of committing suicide just to escape the pain.

“I did not want to deal with it anymore,” Marino said. “I took out one of my knives … I wrote a letter on my computer and went outside to smoke one last cigarette.”

While out there smoking, he thought he heard a little sound. It was a soft 'meow'. He began looking around for the source of the sound when a little black and white kitten came out of the bushes and headed straight toward him.

“He just walked up and started rubbing up against my leg and let me pet him, I broke down crying, burst into tears,” Marino explains in 'Mutual Rescue', a short film by Josh & Scout. “Maybe he knew there was something I couldn’t quite handle.”

He fed the kitty and Marino realized he couldn't kill himself that day. That little kitten needed him, and he couldn't let him down. Having something that needed him and cared for him, even if it was just a stray cat, was enough to help the veteran hold on.

Marino began feeding the cat, who he named Scout, every day. In that time, he found the strength to start making changes in his life. He even met a great woman he began dating, which gave him even more motivation to move forward.

One day, Scout stopped showing up. Marino was devastated and thought something had happened to his little buddy. He was so upset about it that a friend of his talked him into going to a local shelter to adopt a new cat.

Marino reluctantly agreed — he missed Scout, but if he could give a needy cat a home, it would be a good deed.

As he's walking through the shelter, he ran into his old friend. “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 of spotting Scout at the shelter. “I opened up that cage, and I pulled him out, and I held him tight.”

Marino adopted Scout. He eventually married his girlfriend and changed his life around. He quit smoking, started eating right and exercising. He feels better than ever. He also went back to school and got his master’s degree.

He is now a mental health counselor for other veterans, and he says he owes it all to Scout.

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

Source: 11 Alive, Animal Channel
Photo: YouTube

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