A ten-year-old lady was devastated to depart her cat behind when her household fled Ukraine. But they just lately reunited in California.


As the warfare in Ukraine continued to escalate, the Bezhenar household made the troublesome determination to depart the nation in July. They needed to depart every thing behind – their enterprise, their residence, and even their pets, which devastated their 10-year-old daughter. 

“We could not take any animals that we have,” Maria Bezhenar, a mother of three, informed CBS News. “We asked my brother-in-law to watch over the animals and the youngest one, Agnessa, she was crying every time. She says, ‘I want to go back home. My animals are there, my cats are there.’ And we couldn’t help her.” 

Bezhenar and her husband, Aleksander, first moved to Romania with their three daughters, Eleanor, Agnessa, and Angelina, in addition to Bezhenar’s mom. They might solely keep briefly, so, they determined to maneuver to the United States. They promised Agnessa they might undertake a cat as soon as they bought there.

10-year-old Agnessa was devastated to depart behind her beloved cat, Arsenii, when her household fled Ukraine. 

Maria Beznehar

Bezhenar discovered a program, UkraineTakeShelter.com, which helps refugees discover housing within the U.S., and she or he linked with Geoffry Peters in Cloverdale, California. 

Peters has devoted his life to working for charities, and is now on the board of a fundraising company for nonprofits. His latest mission was serving to a household from Ukraine transfer to the U.S.

“Can you imagine your life being turned upside down and you have to leave a country you’ve never left before, ride on an airplane you’ve never done before? Arrive in a new country, learn a language,” Peters informed CBS News. “I mean, it’s like starting from scratch, only it’s on steroids. It’s like everything moving 100 miles an hour.”

Geoffry Peters supplied a house to the Bezhenar household after assembly them by a web site that connects Ukrainian refugees with housing.

Maria Beznehar

Peters had a second residence for the Bezhenars and helped them expedite their transfer to the U.S. But they arrived a bit too shortly – Peters and his spouse have been on trip once they bought there in July.

“The house was an empty house,” he mentioned. “So, we contacted all of our friends in the community here in Cloverdale, California and literally they furnished the entire house from top to bottom. Beds for every person in the family, kitchenware, utensils, plates.”

His grandchildren greeted the household with indicators on the airport and drove them to Cloverdale, the place they noticed how beneficiant the group had been, Bezhenar mentioned, calling the second “unbelievable.” 

Eventually, Peters and his spouse arrived residence and met the Bezhenars, they usually fashioned a connection. “When we saw them, they became like our father and mother. I call him ‘adoptive father,’” Bezhenar mentioned. 

Since coming to the U.S., the household has made many modifications. They’ve gotten their California drivers licenses. The women have enrolled in class — the 2 eldest in junior faculty. And Aleksander is working to restart his profession promoting and putting in wallpaper. They even adopted a brand new cat, however Agnessa nonetheless felt one factor was nonetheless lacking — their beloved cat, Arsenii. 

As destiny would have it, Bezhenar befriended a flight attendant on the best way to the U.S.. She stored in contact together with her and requested if she knew anybody who might assist.

“I asked her if she knows something about the cats, how cats can fly and what documents cats need. And she says, ‘I don’t really know about this, but my friend who is another flight attendant from Hawaii, she must know everything about that,’” Bezhenar remembers.

A flight attendant linked the household with an animal rescue. Someone from the rescue was in Greece on trip, and supplied to journey to choose up Arsenii and convey him to San Francisco, the place the household reunited with their beloved pet.

Maria Bezhenar

That second flight attendant knew individuals who labored for an animal rescue. They contacted somebody from the rescue, who was already in Europe on trip. She volunteered to tack on some further journey — to choose up Arsenii, bringing him to all the best way to California.

“She just decided to travel to Bucharest to do everything needed for the cat, and she brought the cat back to Greece and from Greece to Montreal and from Montreal to Seattle and from Seattle to San Francisco. That was a long journey,” Bezhenar mentioned.

This time, the Bezhenar household have been those ready on the airport with indicators: “Welcome home Arsenii.” Agnessa cried tears of pleasure.

They left many issues behind in Ukraine, however in California, they gained household. “We are surrounded by good people here,” Bezhenar mentioned. 


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