Back in May we learned about the State Hermitage Museum’s unusual pest control strategy: every night the St. Petersburg institution lets some 65 cats roam the institution’s halls in search of prey. The story was sorely lacking video of the feline guards, however, an unfortunate situation remedied by the our colleagues to the north at the CBC last week, who’ve filed the adorable video report below.
Though the short item fails to mention the annual Day of the Hermitage Cat celebration on Lenin’s birthday, it does note that a team of three nearly-full-time employees look after the cats, that the feline patrol program is funded largely by employee contributions (scandal!), and that the Hermitage now welcomes stray cats to join its team.
“They’re not just mascots,” says staff cat wrangler Irina Popovets, “they’re really employees of the Hermitage and they play a very important role.” Any St. Petersburg strays reading this should head directly for the Hermitage. Everyone else should watch the video below (and then submit it to the Walker Art Center’s Internet Cat Video Film Festival).
— Benjamin Sutton