RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The death of a family pet can be devastating, and moving past it can take time.
A Powhatan family experienced that loss recently with the death of their cat. The family fell in love with their cat three years ago during a snow storm.
That’s when a white, long-haired stray cat walked up to James and Heather Kunka’s front door.
“He was hungry and it took a lot of attempts for him to get comfortable with us," said James Kunka.
The couple decided to rescue the cat and, appropriately, named him Snowball.
“He was a snuggly little guy. Well I shouldn’t say ‘little’ - he was 18 pounds," said Heather Kunka. “Every time you sat down around the chairs here, he would flop up and he would bump your hand until you just pet him and pet him.”
This past Thanksgiving, the family would lose their big ball of love. Snowball went outside, just like he would on any given day, but he didn’t return.
“We knew something was wrong, and my son found him Saturday, in the woods. We missed him. You could tell that something was missing from our lives," said James.
During a massive snowstorm in December, the family sat down, opened the computer and searched for a new cat.
James found the perfect cat, but it was in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He had an upcoming business trip in Nashville, so he thought maybe, just maybe, he could swing by and pick up their new cat, and bring her home.
So he called the shelter.
“The girl that answered the phone said no. Once you adopt the cat we have to spay, neuter and the shots and its a week or so later you would have to pick the cat up. That wasn’t going to be able to happen. And out of the blue she said, ‘so where are you from’ (and asked if) you would consider flying the cat home.”
Samantha Moses, was on the other line.
“He mentioned that he lives in Richmond, Virginia.”
After a long pause, she said, “At this moment in two weeks I am moving to Richmond, Virginia. So it was serendipitous and I had to offer, if you really have a connection with this cat, I am totally fine bringing her with me."
This had to be fate.
James visited the shelter, met their new cat and Samantha took care of the rest. When she finally made the big move to Richmond weeks later, the Kunkas were reunited with their new cat. Just like Snowball, this too was love at first sight.
“She snuggled right in, she started purring at my neck, she was just an adorable little thing. I think she’s going to be on our laps as much as Snowball was. A true act of kindness for absolutely nothing in return,” said Heather.
On a cold January morning, after a snow storm nonetheless, NBC12 went to Samantha’s new job to say thank you, and give her the $300 for her Act of Kindness.
“I was totally not expecting that at all and it will definitely help with all the moving expenses," she said, with a happy ending for all involved.
The Kunka family has an amazing new cat in Snowflake, and it’s all thanks to their snow angel – Samantha.
“I literally feel like I was put on this earth to help people in any way, so they needed this kitty cat, I already heading that way, it’s no problem. Easy,” she said.