Tichen the cat went missing in a rest area in Germany during a flight from Ukraine to Norway last September. But at Christmas, a small miracle happens.
– An unreal adventure. “Imagine finding a lost cat across the vast expanses of Europe,” Victoria (37) Kubrac tells VG.
She and her sons Nasser (5) and Dima (9) fled the war in Ukraine in September to Hagesund and Norway.
First, they left everyday life and Kiev. A normal life with work, school, nursery school, kicking football and an apartment to be renovated.
The first stop was with relatives in Kamianets-Podilskyi in western Ukraine. Then there were five people in the car, including the cat Dichen and father Vadim.
I am looking for a job
But even the western part of Ukraine was not safe and a difficult decision had to be made.
– I had to think ahead. The children had their daily lives, went to nursery school and school, and I had to work.
She and her husband are biologists, but she had to stay in Ukraine to defend the country against a Russian attack.
Through a colleague, Victoria found out about a job vacancy at a clinic in Häggesund. She gets the job.
Run to the field
With her heart still in Ukraine, Viktoria Kubrak, her sons and cat set off on a 3,000 kilometer long and demanding drive to Haugesund in September.
On the Autobahn in Flensburg, near the border with Denmark, they stop at a rest stop. It’s ten o’clock.
– Opening the door, Dichen ran at full speed. Maybe he was scared by the noise of the autobahn, says Victoria.
Dichon ran straight into a field and they searched for hours. A boat has missed, but they must sail.
– I cried all the way. When the Danish police stopped us during the raid, they asked why I was crying like that and told me to pull myself together before we drove off, says Victoria.
With the help of his sister, Dichon was listed on the Missing Persons Register.
Every night is easy
After arriving in Norway, the search continued.
– Every night. I searched on Facebook and contacted many people who were searching. After two or three weeks I thought it was impossible, but still I continued. I can’t explain why.
Dichon meant a lot to the family, and his disappearance amid all the hardships of war and moving to a new country is heartbreaking.
– Dichen has been with me for ten years, he is older than my children. He is my eldest son. I couldn’t take my husband or son-in-law with me, but at least I couldn’t take the cat, says Victoria.
There was a chip
On Christmas Day, a message arrives from German social worker Joanna Werner (29). She writes that someone saw a stray cat.
– We sent each other pictures and saw that although Dichen went from six to three kilos, it was him.
Joanna eventually catches the cat, partly with the help of decoy sausages and partly by learning of Tichen’s “specialty” – using an open window instead of a door.
Then things happen quickly.
– Meow loudly
Tichon’s chip was read at a cat center, the ID was clarified and the boys in Victoria and Haugesund were notified.
– The next day we got in the car and drove to Flensburg, she says.
– How did the boys behave?
– They sat as quietly as mice. Usually they make a fuss about everything.
– How did Dicken react when he saw you?
– He meowed loudly. We hugged him and told him how much we needed him in our lives. Joanna also comes and tells all the details of how Tichan was found.
– And my husband, who is fighting in the war, he doesn’t think this is true. She had to get Tichen’s video before she believed it, says Victoria Kubrak.
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