ASPCA Names Cat and Dog of the Year

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The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals held its annual Humane Awards luncheon on Thursday, during which the organization recognized its cat and dog of the year for 2013: Koshka the cat and Xena the dog.


Koshka was an injured stray cat in southern Afghanistan when he met Staff Sgt. Jesse Knott. Knott took a shine to the cat and nursed him back to health, but he didn't foresee that having a new pet by his side would help him through a tragedy. Two of Knott's closest friends were killed in a suicide bombing, and Knott sunk into a depression. Koshka kept Knott's chin up.

"Just the bit of compassion and love that cat showed me is what it took to remind me to stay strong," Knott said.

When Knott came home to Oregon, he jumped through a lot of hoops to bring Koshka with him. The cat could not travel with Knott by military convoy, so Knott arranged to have Koshka shipped separately, costing $3,000.

At 4 months old, Xena the Staffordshire Terrier mix weighed less than 5 pounds when she was found collapsed and almost dead in someone's yard in Dekalb County, Ga. Xena was brought to an emergency veterinarian who saved her life after she had been, according to the vet's estimation, kept in a cage and starved nearly to death before being abandoned.

After Xena was brought to health, she gave back some love of her own. Adopted by the Hickeys, a family with a young, autistic son named Johnny, Xena quickly became the boy's constant companion and de facto therapy dog, drawing him out of his shell.

"He is the happiest child that I've ever seen him be in eight years," Johnny's mother, Linda Hickey, told Today.

While Xena traveled to New York yesterday to attend the ASPCA's award ceremony, attendance wasn't in the cards for her feline counterpart, Koshka.

"I would love to bring him," Knott said, "but ... after traveling from Hutal to Kandahar, then to Kabul, on to Islamabad, from there to New York, and finally to Portland, Oregon, Koshka's patience and desire to travel has been pushed well past its max."

PAWNATION MEETS GRUMPY CAT AT THE FRISKIES AWARDS:

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Heather Marion

god bless u for saving these loving wonderful creatures and in turn may they show u n may u appreciate only the unconditional love that only animals will give... thanks from an animal fanatic

November 23 2013 at 3:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Heather Marion

GOD BLESS U FOR BEING SO LOVING TO SAVE THESE WONDERFUL OVING ANIMALS. MAY U HAVE MANY YEARS W/ THEM TO SHARE UR LOVEW/EACH OTHER AND MAY U KNOW THAT UNCONDITIONAL LOVE THAT ONLY AAN ANIMAL CAN GIVE.....

November 23 2013 at 3:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
scottee

animals bring out the best in people.
politicians bring out the worst.
so we give the politicians the most money...why?

November 23 2013 at 8:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hellotwralph

Bless you for saving animals. I have 2 rescued cats myself!!!!!!!!!!!!

November 23 2013 at 8:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
n1ne1

DOGS are cool cats are stupid!

November 23 2013 at 8:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to n1ne1's comment
compuboy

Cats not stupid..

November 23 2013 at 8:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sheckyb

Koshka is a "face toucher." A special breed.

November 23 2013 at 8:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sheckyb

Thank You Staff Sergeant, Jesse Knott for rescuing Koshka. U R her hero.

November 23 2013 at 8:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
gvette75

Two animals that are worth more then Obama!!

November 23 2013 at 8:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
katma372

A HOUSE IS JUST A HOUSE BUT A HOME IS WHERE THE CAT/S ARE.

November 23 2013 at 7:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gordon

HE STILL HAS AN OBAMA FLAG ON HIS SLEEVE

November 23 2013 at 7:46 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

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