The Guardian recently shared the awe-inspiring story of an Iraqi refugee getting reunited with his family: a little white cat named Kunkush.
After months of separation and a long journey across Europe, the handsome cat was finally reunited with his family.
Kunkush and his family fled an Iraqi city occupied by ISIS and arrived on the Greek island Lesbos by boat last November. But upon the mayhem of the landing, Kunkush got separated from his family and after a long search, they had to continue their journey without him.
Kunkush was later found by Greek fishermen who named the cat Dias, after the Greek god of strength.
Local volunteers in Lesbos started an international online campaign to find Kunkush’s family, including a Facebook and GoFundMe page. Kunkush was taken in by a foster mother from Berlin and on February 12th, the cat’s owners were finally located in Norway.
The family shared an emotional reunion with their beloved cat.
Kunkush’s epic voyage is much more than just a story about a pet cat.
Many refugees refuse to leave their pets behind and have carried them in their arms on their journeys to asylum.
The story of Kunkush's reuinion is about what makes us human, the connections that invest life with meaning. It would be too easy to dismiss this relationship, too easy for the story of Kunkush to get overwhelmed by the trauma of the Syrian refugee crisis. People who own pets know that they become family. For refugees who leave almost everything behind, bringing along a pet can provide tremendous solace. That people went far out of their way to reunite this family with their beloved cat reminds the world that refugees are complex humans, too, and their lives shouldn’t be reduced to bare survival.
The mother cries not just because she's happy to see Kunkush. Her tears are also tears of gratitude for the strangers who care for her, the foreign land that accepted her family and showed them love, and the future that no longer seems so bleak.
Whether animal or human, Kunkush’s journey isn’t unique for the many refugees struggling to escape violence and find a new home. But unlike Kunkush the cat, not all refugees are fortunate enough to receive such monetary support and help from people all over the world.
While we celebrate Kunkush’s happy ending, let’s remember to support the millions of refugees who will continue to face hardships until they receive the proper resources to build a new life.