Hyderabad: "I will either leave the city with my pet or stay in Ukraine" – this was what Puduru Prakhyath, a final year MBBS student at Ivano-frankivsk National Medical University, decided when he was trapped in Ukraine. A resident of Chinnakoru Konda village in Kalluru mandal, Khammam district, Prakhyath reached his home in Hyderabad on Saturday along with his cat Sanza Stark.
This Indian student who owns the three-year-old female ginger cat since 2019 had decided that he would bring his cat to India no matter what. "I decided whether to cross the border with my Sanza or live in Ukraine. It's been a five-day journey, literally a hell, to cross the border near Romania. I had to walk carrying a trolley, backpack, and my pet. It was a harsh cold of -4 degrees and we suffered a lot," said Prakhyath.
He was among several who rushed to cross the border as tensions escalated in Ukraine. "With my luggage beside me, I carried my kitty on my head till I reached the border. For almost three days, we had no food and had to stand for three days without any rest. After crossing the border, we went to refugee homes and there I fed Sanza some food and made her comfortable," Prakhyath told NewsMeter. Knowing that the situation was turning worse, Prakhyath fed his cat some food before starting his journey to India. It is said that cats can survive without food for three days.
However, after reaching the airport, the Indian student had to face another trouble when the airline refused to allow his pet. "As it was a sudden trip, I couldn't get a travel fitness certificate for my cat. I had to beg the airlines in Delhi for hours explaining to them the situation we had faced in the last few days and how my Sanza was so attached to me. Thanks to them, they allowed me to travel with the pet," said Prakhyath who reached Hyderabad on the evening of 5 March.
Talking about his pet, Prakhyath said, "As the cat is used to the cold climate, I had to keep her in an air-conditioned room for three-four hours after which he settled down."