Girl from Ukraine reunited with her cat at last

This girl and her cat were separated during the conflict in Ukraine. When her family had to evacuate and leave the cat behind, she wasn’t sure if she’d see him again. But thanks to the rescue efforts of several people in several countries, she has been reunited with her cat at last.


When the current conflict in Ukraine grew, the Bezhenar family knew they would have to evacuate. They weren’t able to bring much with them at all, and they knew they wouldn’t have room for their cat, Arsenii. So as the family fled to safety, they had to leave Arsenii behind.

They journeyed to California, where they got help and were able to settle down in the San Francisco Bay Area. They were safe, and they received donations from people to replace most of the things they had needed to leave behind.

Missing Arsenii

But nothing could replace Arsenii. Agnessa, the ten-year-old daughter of the family had especially loved the cat, and she was so upset that they had been separated. The mom’s brother-in-law was taking care of him in Ukraine now, but Agnessa still worried about the cat and missed having him by her side. Her mother said:

“She missed sleeping with her cat and she missed hugging him, she missed everything about the cat because she had grown up with him.”

Along the family’s journey to their new home, a flight attendant heard the story about the cat. She started contacting rescuers that she knew, trying to put together a plan to get Arsenii out of Ukraine and into the United States.

Girl sleeping with gray cat in a hammock
Arsenii and Agnessa taking a cat nap together. Pic credit: @In the name of ZOEY/YouTube

A long journey

Finally, the operation was ready to go. The mother’s brother-in-law took the cat across the border into Moldova on his motorcycle. Then a driver took him to a Ukrainian refugee family staying in Romania.

Arsenii spent about a month there. Then an animal rescuer from Seattle, Washington who was on vacation in Greece joined in on the mission. She needed to get the cat’s documents checked before taking him out of Romania, but with the assistance of a helpful local, she was able to sort those out and take Arsenii to Athens, Greece.

From there, the animal rescuer flew with him to Canada, and then from there to her home in Seattle.

Gray cat in a backpack
Arsenii on his journey, ready to travel far to see his family again. Pic credit: @In the name of ZOEY/YouTube

Reunited at last

Arsenii was on the West Coast now. He was getting very close. He finished making the journey to the family in the San Francisco Bay Area, and they were reunited at last. Agnessa is so happy to have him back, and so is the rest of her family. Her mother said:

“When Arsenii is with us, it’s like home is with us. Like part of our home is with us.”

After such a long journey across many miles, Arsenii and his family are finally back together again.

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