A little white cat from Iraq sparked an international search and rescue operation— complete with appeals on Facebook and a mobilization of volunteers, donors and supporters from throughout the world.
See The Guardian’s video of Dias’ story:
Refugee cat’s epic journey to find familyRefugee cat’s epic journey to find family
Kunkush the cat was a beloved member of a family who became refugees when they fled Iraq for the safety of Europe. Travelling through Greece, cat and family became separated, sparking an international online search in hopes of reuniting them.
This is Kunkush the cat’s story.
Posted by The Guardian on Friday, February 19, 2016
The white, fluffy white cat arrived with his family on the shores of Lesvos on a dinghy from Turkey last November. The ensuing chaos of people onboard the boat rushing to reach the shore safely and numerous volunteers rushing to assist the refugees must have frightened the feline— who broke free from the box his family was carrying him in and bolted.
Distraught, the refugee family which was fleeing war-torn Mosul in Iraq, which is a region pf the country now controlled by ISIS, embarked on an island-wide search. They had the assistance of volunteers on Lesvos but the search turned up empty handed and the family had to go on without their beloved pet.
According to volunteers, the family felt “horrible” that they had to leave and leave their pet behind— which had braved the same journey from Iraq to Turkey, fleeing war and destruction.
Dias turned up in a nearby village three days later and volunteers on the island immediately sprung to action, using social media to connect him with his family— who could now be long gone on the Balkan routes heading to northern European countries.
A Facebook group “Reunite Dias” was created— they named the tiny guy after the Greek God Dias, the god of all gods, and started to comb the island for him. They also launched a GoFundMe campaign to help cover the cat’s vet costs.
Foster families were found in Athens and Berlin, where the cat was transported awaiting good news that his family had been found.
Reunite Dias announced on February 14th that Dias’ family had been located in Norway. Their account was matched with photos and they were confirmed to be his real owners. The team behind the campaign to reunite Dias (whose real name is Kunkush) with his family immediately began the process of transporting him to Norway.
And then this happened: Norwegian nrk.com captured the exact moment the cat was reunited with his family.