It’s so easy for us to disregard the plight of the hundreds of thousands refugees displaced by the threat of ISIS. We see stories of the horrific abuse of people who cross paths with the hostile extremist group, but we don’t really connect with the journey of the people who have left their homes in order to escape the atrocities of ISIS. Meet Kunkush the cat and his Iraqi family who were separated from each other during their escape from Iraq and their incredible journey back to each other and ultimately, their tearful reunion.
Akin to the movie The Incredible Journey, a story of two dogs and a cat who get lost during their family’s move 200 miles away, the story of Kunkush and his family is also a story of a happy and tearful reunion. Kunkush went through four months of separation before he was finally reunited with his tearful and grateful family as shown in the above video posted by The Guardian.
The Huffington Post reported that the Iraqi family became refugees when they left their home back in November, after ISIS gained control of Iraq. The refugee family consisted of a mother and her five children, and of course, their cat, Kunkush. The family escaped along with their fluffy white cat on a rubber boat that took them across the Mediterranean Sea to Greece. Amid thousands of other refugees arriving at the same place, the scene was chaotic, and Kunkush, becoming frightened, ran off.
A story by ABC said the family searched for hours before they were forced to move on to another transit camp. According to ABC, Kunkush was found three days later in a fishing village and was labeled a “refugee cat.” Local residents and volunteers began caring for and feeding the bedraggled feline with the help of a veterinarian.
The complete story and adventures of Kunkush can be found on FaceBook. When an American volunteer, Ashley Anderson and her friends, Amy Shrodes and Michelle Nhin launched a campaign to help locate the cat’s family, they started the FaceBook page. After nicknaming Kunkush “Dias,” which is the modern Greek word for “Zeus,” the page was titled “Reunite Dias” and Kunkush’s epic journey to be reunited with his family began.
Kunkush’s saviors were criticized by some people for putting so much effort into finding one cat’s owners, but Anderson said the lost pet “was an important symbol of hope.” In an earlier interview with The Dodo, before the refugee family was located, Anderson said, “The story is much more than just a story about a cat.”
“I want there to be, in the suffering and pain, a little beacon of hope. I really want to find this family.”
Kunkush was sent to Berlin to a foster home while the search for his humans was going on. A GoFundMe campaign was set up for Dias/Kunkush in January to help send the kitty to his new foster home and to help find his family. On February 12, Kunkush’s family was located in Norway. The family had seen Kunkush in a story by The Daily Mail. The family contacted the volunteers through the FaceBook page and sent photos taken of Kunkush in Iraq to identify him.
The family and Konkush had a Skype “reunion” before the cat was sent to join the family in Steinkjer, and the story of Kunkush the cat had a happy ending. The family and Kunkush were reunited on Valentine’s Day.
Thanks to the volunteers who did spend so much time on reuniting Kunkush with his family. A family who lost everything, their home and their belongings because of ISIS, were devastated when they lost their beloved pet, who was a part of their family. By evidence of the tearful reunion, the refugee family was obviously grateful and very glad that people spent so much time and effort on finding Kunkush’s family.
[Photo Via YouTube]