Photo: Ashley Lutz
A museum in St. Petersburg hires guard cats to keep rodents away.The State Hermitage Museum has used cats to protect artwork since it was founded in 1764, the Voice of Russia reports. The cats aren’t seen by guests because they dwell in attics and basements, the source of most rodents.
The museum has observed some lessons in cat culture:
The team of tailed guards consists mainly of alley cats, and like in the imperial times, the cat community hinges on strict hierarchy. The cats fall into aristocrats, the middle caste, and the low caste. Each group operates within a certain designated part of the building. The cat staff cannot exceed 50-60 cats, not because they’ll be difficult to look after in terms of cat food. If the number of cats exceeds 60, they start cat fights and neglect their duties. For this reason, from time to time, the museum has to look for people who would adopt extra cats.
The felines are carefully named by museum employees based on their personalities. They even have their own holiday on March 28, where they receive special treats.
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