A precious white Turkish Van cat named Kunkush has made a joyful homecoming after being separated from his loving owners as they trekked across Turkey to escape war-torn Iraq. This is a good reminder that although cats can seem seriously intimidating and aloof, you know that (deep down) they love you and will help you through trying times. The refugee family had traveled far with Kunkush, holding him tight on their land trek across Turkey and on a rubber boat sailing to the Greek Island of Lesvos to seek a better life in Europe.
Unfortunately, it was on Lesvos that the stressed-out Kunkush snickered away. The family thought they would never see their adorable feline ever again. They looked for him relentlessly, but made the tough decision to head back on the road and continue traveling across Europe. The refugee cat had to survive on its own on the streets of the Greek island.
Miraculously, however, a group of aid workers found Kunkush—white fur matted with dirt—in Skala, a fishing community on the island. According to Metro:
“The volunteers named him ‘Dias,’ after the Greek pronunciation of the ancient god Zeus, and fed, watered, took him to the vet and had him fitted with a microchip.”
and was bullied by stray cats.
The aid volunteers had flown this "stray cat" to Berlin, Germany, where he stayed with a foster family. Meanwhile, the volunteers had to put their heads together and come up with ways to find Kunkush's family.
Nhin, who helped create the Reunite Dias Facebook group, wrote:
In a small way, his journey represents the plight of all who are seeking a better life. We need each other. If it wasn’t for people taking notice of his vulnerable state and taking him in under their wings, he’d likely be fighting for food and struggling to thrive. By offering him a place to stay and good food, he’s now able to sit by the fire and process what all he’s been through. He’s sleeping a lot and is very talkative when he’s awake. He didn’t go unnoticed, and will not be forgotten about.
Over 5,000 people immediately supported the campaign and shortly afterwards, the volunteers were able to locate Kunkush's family on Valentine's Day. A day of insurmountable love indeed.
After the volunteers had tracked down the cat's owners, they set up a tear-jerking Skype reunion. The family who started their journey in Mosul, Iraq had traveled thousands of miles to get to Norway. They couldn't believe their eyes.
Is that you Kunkush?!
According to ABC, the volunteers knew they had the right cat after they compared Kunkush's physical characteristics to the family's throwback photos in Iraq.
Home at last.
A huge amount of thanks is also owed to Amy Shrodes, an American nurse providing medical care for refugees on Lesvos, she bought Kunkush's £470 airplane ticket so he can finally be with his family IRL.
Perhaps Kunkush had fallen asleep in some Greek local's shoe and that's how he ended up being lost? Cats, man. Gotta love 'em.