When a mother and her five children fled Iraq, they couldn’t bear to leave their beloved cat, Kunkush, behind.
They brought their fluffy white feline on a perilous trip that included a rubber boat voyage across the Mediterranean Sea to Greece in November. But in the chaos on shore, their pet became frightened and ran off, The Guardian reports.
Luckily for Kunkush, local residents and international volunteers spotted the out-of-place cat and, with the help of a veterinarian, began to feed and care for him. But three women took things further. American volunteer Ashley Anderson and her friends, Amy Shrodes and Michelle Nhin, launched a campaign to locate the cat's human family, according to BuzzFeed.
In the meantime, they called the cat Dias, the modern Greek word for “Zeus.”
Some people criticized the women for devoting so much effort to a cat. But Anderson said the lost pet was an important symbol of hope.
“The story is much more than just a story about a cat," Anderson told The Dodo earlier this month, before the family was located. “I want there to be, in the suffering and pain, a little beacon of hope. I really want to find this family.”
Kunkush was relocated to a foster home in Berlin while the search continued. Anderson, Shrodes and Nhin kept trying to spread the word about the cat and track down his family.
Last week, their efforts paid off. Kunkush's family, now resettled in Norway, spotted a story about their cat in The Daily Mail.
Based on The Guardian's footage of the family’s joyful reunion with Kunkush (above), it’s safe to say they’re glad the cat's rescuers never gave up on him.