January 4 – I head to Berlin w/ @amyshrodes ! How time files. Thx u all again for following my journey. #reunitedias pic.twitter.com/W5TKiByLKA
— Dias (@DiasTheCat) December 29, 2015
You may have seen a Turkish Van by the name of Dias on social media or even in global news reports recently. Dias is a cat who got separated from his refugee family several months ago. He was crossing into Greece via an inflatable boat, but on landing, he was frightened and bolted. The family spent hours looking for the cat with the help of volunteers, but he was nowhere to be found, so they had to move on without him.
Snow days with Dias! I love watching the snow fall outside this is one of my fav spots in the house! #reunitedias <3 pic.twitter.com/wjQ4pCrIzF
— Dias (@DiasTheCat) January 18, 2016
A few days later, the cat was found wandering by a cafe, and he was picked up by two volunteers named Michelle Nhin and Amy Shrode. They didn’t know who the cat belonged to, but refugee families often have to pay a huge price to transport humans, let alone pets. So they knew the cat would be missed by his family. They decided to send Dias to live with a foster family in Berlin, which is where a lot of refugee families settle.
We have translations! Thank you so much to Syrian Animal Refugees for helping. #reunitedias #refugeecat pic.twitter.com/7GP9kXXwTe
— Dias (@DiasTheCat) January 5, 2016
But the volunteers still wanted to find the missing cat’s family. So they started a campaign with flyers translated into Arabic. The story was picked up by news organizations around the world, and finally, a local Norwegian paper tracked down a refugee family that had fled a war-torn Iraq and had settled in Norway. The family recognized the cat as their beloved Kunkush, which is Dias’s real name. They had a Skype conversation with the foster family, and Kunkush recognized the voices coming from the computer. Finally, Kunkush was sent to Norway and reunited with his family, four months after he had disappeared. The family welcomed him with happy tears and hugs. I love when a story has a happy ending!
Are you amazed that Kunkush’s family was found? Are you glad the search effort paid off? Let us know in the comments below!