Internet’s Chillest Cat, Stepan & Family Flee Ukraine After Shelling Hits Kharkiv

Written by: Kelli Brinegar
For more than five years, Kelli Brinegar has been using her ability to write and her passion for research to tell the tale of what cats are thinking and why. She has provided care to more than 30 cats in her lifetime.Read more
| Published on March 21, 2022

In the world of internet cats, Stepan is one chill boy. In his posts, the thirteen-year-old tabby is just a cat who chills with his elbow propped on the table and a glass of wine at his side. With over a million followers on Instagram and another million on TikTok, cat lovers find Stepan’s aloof charm irresistible. He’s a cat with so much appeal; he even got a mention from Britney Spears.

But on February 24th, Stepan and his family had their world turned upside down. Like the rest of their Ukrainian compatriots, they found their country under invasion by Russian forces. Stepan and his mom shared the details of their journey to safety on Instagram.

Waking to War

On that sad February day, around five in the morning, Stepan and his family woke to an explosion, and as he explained, “I didn’t even understand what it was.”

But after more explosions, the windows in their Kharkiv home began to tremble. It was then the family understood.

Stepan shared, “We realized that the war had come to our house.”

“On the first day of the war were the most severe destructions. Shells hit the neighboring houses every day; the houses burned before our eyes. By some miracle, our house remained safe exactly for a week.”

RELATED: Ukrainian Man & His Cat Survive Russian Blast, But Their Family Did Not

But on the eighth day, their home was damaged when a Russian shell “flew into the neighbors’ balcony.”

In twenty to thirty of the surrounding apartments, windows were blown out, and Stepan reported, “Two shells fell in our yard in front of the house.”

After the attack on their home, “We spent two nights in the basement and without electricity for a week.”

Safe and Waiting To Go Home

Finally, with the help of volunteers, Stepan and his family left Kharkiv aboard a train to Lviv. Almost a day later, they reached Lviv and began the trek to the Polish border. Once there, they waited in a line of roughly 5,000 refugees seeking to cross. After nine hours, Stepan and his family reached Poland.

“When we reached Poland, we were offered help from the World Influencers and Bloggers Association from Monaco. They helped us get to France to wait for the very day when we could return home.”

“We’re all right now. We worry very much about our relatives in Ukraine and will do the very best we can to help our country.”

RELATED: Cat Café Vows To Stay Open As Feeding Cats in Ukraine Grows Difficult

Stepan and his family shared photos of the Russian brutality battering their home country.

Follow Stepan on Instagram for more updates.

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A post shared by Степан (@loveyoustepan)

Feature Image: @loveyoustepan/Instagram