Russian Cat Professionals: In the Home and at the Library

Russian Cat Professionals: In the Home and at the Library

Here on the MIR blog, we have been discussing cats in Russia, specifically in St. Petersburg. Previous entries have highlighted the hard-working Hermitage Cats who protect the world-famous museum from mice and other intruders, and the first cat café in Russia, the St. Petersburg Cats’ Republic, where visitors can commune with over two dozen cats for an hour at a time. Now our examination of cat culture in Russia takes us further afield, to Moscow, the Black Sea port city of Novorossiysk, and beyond to discover Russia’s growing class of proletarian cats.

House Blessing in MeowscowOur first stop is Moscow, Russia’s capital and home to Sberbank, the country’s largest bank. In 2014, the bank launched a promotion that gained worldwide attention: take out a mortgage with Sberbank and get a cat delivered to your new home for free. As expected, there were a few caveats that came with this attention-grabbing deal. For starters, the cats were only delivered to the homes of the first 30 mortgage customers and, most surprisingly, the customers didn’t get to keep the cats.

Despite the temporary nature of the “free cat” promise, most applicants didn’t seem to mind. In Russia, there is a belief that allowing a cat to walk through a new home before moving in will bring good luck. So the 30 homeowners, 15 from Moscow and 15 from other cities in Russia who received cat deliveries, were twice blessed. However, the cats were removed from the homes after two hours, presumably once they had bestowed enough luck on the new dwelling.

 

A Purrfect LibrarianNext we move south to the Russian Black Sea city of Novorossiysk, where a bow tie-wearing Tabby named Kuzya has recently been hired as the assistant librarian at the city’s children’s library. This lucky cat has a true “rags to riches” story; Kuzya appeared on the front steps of the library and was taken in by the staff, who swiftly ushered him through all the necessary steps to gainful employment. Once a stray, Kuzya now has a passport, a place to live and an official employment contract at the library, which guarantees him 30 cans of food per month in exchange for his services, which are admittedly a bit nebulously defined. Still, it’s clear that this proletarian puss has landed on his feet!

Between the luck distribution and the library shifts, not to mention the vermin-chasing and the rental cat work described in previous blog posts, Russia is home to some industrious felines! These hard-working cats take the meaning of outsourcing to a whole new level. But not to worry – these cute kitties won’t take all of the available jobs. There are some professions that carry a much lower risk of feline takeover. Hairdressing and food preparation immediately spring to mind…

(Top photo: A feline lounging in St. Petersburg’s Cats’ Republic. Photo credit: Devin Connolly)

PUBLISHED: February 20, 2015

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  • Wonderful story about the role of cats in giving their “blessings” to new home purchases! And the bow tie cat roaming freely throughout the library…….priceless! Great stories and photos!