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Social Media Helps Reunite Lost ‘Refugee Cat’ With His Family

Kunkush aka Dias has finally been reunited with his family, who fled Iraq last year.

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Kunkush made quite the journey to be reunited with his family. Via The Guardian/Facebook
John Virata

Caring folks and a boost from social media has helped refugee family reunite with their lost cat.

The family — a mother and her five children — lost Kunkush after fleeing Mosul, Iraq, for the safety of Europe, The Guardian reports. They all arrived in Greece together in November 2015, but somehow Kunkush became separated from the group. That’s when volunteers helping refugees came across the little white cat and renamed him Dias (pronounced Thias, greek for Zeus).

Kunkush became separated from his family in Greece after he family traveled there to escape war. Via Reunite Dias/Facebook

Volunteers took to Facebook in December to announce his plight after learning from eye witnesses how the cat had come to be in Greece, according to Dias’ GoFundMe page. Using the hashtags ‪#‎reunitedias‬ and ‪#‎refugeecat,‬ they hoped that Dias’ family would be found and he would be returned. But where could they look? Refugees get dispersed all over most of Europe, and Dias’ new caretakers didn’t have pictures of the family or any idea as to their whereabouts.

That same month, Dias was placed on a plane in Lesbos, Greece, and was flown to a foster home in Berlin, Germany.

Dias with his travel papers, awaits a plane to Germany. Image via kunkushdias/Facebook

Dias with his travel papers, awaits a plane to Germany. Via Reunite Dias/Facebook

Translations of Dias’ plight were rewritten in Arabic on social media in hopes that someone knew the family with the missing cat. His keepers put up posters all over the city of Berlin in Arabic, Farsi and Kurdish, and soon his story was picked up by the news media.

Dias’ family was finally found in Norway, February 12, and on Valentine’s Day his foster family posted on Facebook that his family had sent photos and a historical account of Dias. They also notified his keeper that his name is Kunkush, and when his foster family called, he responded to Kunkush. A reunion was held via Skype, and on February 18, Kunkush was reunited with his family. Welcome home, Kunkush!

Watch this video to see more of Kunkush’s journey and his family’s tearful reunion:

Refugee cat’s epic journey to find familyRefugee cat’s epic journey to find familyKunkush 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

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