Amazing Stray Cat is ASPCA Cat of the Year

By Amy Sinatra Ayres

KPTV -- Koshka, here with Staff Sgt. Jesse Knotts, was named ASPCA Cat of the Year.A cat with an amazing story that we told you about in March has been named ASPCA Cat of the Year. Koshka was a stray in Afghanistan who stuck by Staff Sgt. Jesse Knott's side when he lost two of his close friends to a suicide bombing on a military convoy.

Knott repaid Koshka by going out of his way to bring her back home to Oregon with a risky and expensive rescue. She now lives happily with the Knotts family in Oregon.

Koshka is among this year's ASPCA Humane Awards winners, which also includes Dog of the Year Xena, the Warrior Puppy. Xena survived terrible abuse in Georgia before being saved and going on to form a remarkable bond with Jonny, an 8-year-old autistic boy who's made great strides in communicating after meeting Xena.

Related: Pit Bull Terrier Named Hero Dog of 2013

And the group's Kid of the Year honor was awarded to Catherine Hubbard, a 6-year-old animal lover who was among the 20 children killed in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School last year. Her parents asked that donations in her memory go to The Animal Center in Newtown, Conn., which is hoping to build an animal sanctuary in her honor. "This year's Humane Awards winners not only exemplify our mission of preventing cruelty to animals, but bring greater awareness to the unique and meaningful bond between humans and their pets," said ASPCA president and CEO Matthew Bershadker.

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