The account for Stepan, a beloved, internet-famous cat based in Kharkiv, Ukraine, posted an update on Wednesday after going silent for nearly two weeks: “We’re all right now.”
Fans of the 13-year-old rescue cat, who has more than 1.1 million followers on Instagram, raised the alarm after Stepan and his owner Anna had not been active on social media since March 3. To the relief of commenters, Wednesday’s post on @loveyoustepan said they had made it to France following a lengthy journey via Lviv and then Poland.
The account also described the shelling of Kharkiv by Russian forces, which began on the first day of the invasion:
“On February 24, early in the morning, we were sleeping at home. At 5 a.m., some explosion was heard, and I didn’t even understand what it was. After a while, after half an hour later, there were more explosions, the windows trembled. I jumped up and understood that something terrible was happening!”
Stepan and his owner spent two nights in the building’s basement and lived without electricity for a week. Russian bombs hit neighboring homes and two shells landed in their front yard.
Eventually, they managed to leave the city, traveling 20 hours by train to the city of Lviv before crossing into Poland. With help from the World Influencers and Bloggers Association, they were able to travel to France, the account said.
“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,” the account said.
Last year, the World Influencers and Bloggers Association named Stepan one of the world’s top petfluencers, The Washington Post reported. The organization is now renting an apartment for them to stay in.
One of Stepan’s most popular videos shows him sitting alone, looking defeated and drowsy with a large glass of red wine while party lights flash around him. It has been liked nearly 8 million times.