In the middle of 1941 and 1944, The city of Leningrad was surrounded with soldiers or police officers in a siege and was left without cats, they either died during the attacks or died because of hunger. It became a massive problem because of the shortage of cats.
Those old buildings and their basements has a lot of rats, they bite the furniture, wires that connected to the communication lines, they even bite the walls.
The museum starts collecting work of arts, precious artworks and the other exhibits were under threat and put it in their basement to refrain from attacking.
They ask for a help to the train to brought 5,000 feral cats from Siberia to Leningrad to become a rodent patrol s in the city, In order to solve the problem.
Hundreds of those 5,000 cats appointed as a guard at the Hermitage Museum of St. Petersburg.
They were known as the “Guardians of the Galleries”
All the rats in the hermitage were kil.led off. Their plan worked out!
This heroic Siberian cats are still serving in the Hermitage until now.
When Soviet Union has collapsed in 1991, St. Petersburg could no longer afford to feed and care for their cats in the Hermitage Museum. Although the Museum is open to the public for more than 100 years, they decided to adopt more stray cats.
Those adopted cats who lived in the Museum are treated like a royalty. They also have “Cat’s Quarter” where they can have 24 hours veterinary care, feeding and they can roam freely around the basement, what a total freedom!
They are also faithful in their work, carrying out their mice/catching duties. They really deserve to be treated like a royals.
The Hermitage also hosts the what we called “Cat’s Day”, they are doing it every year where the children will come to learn about paint pictures of felines.
They always keep the cats healthy, and happy by giving them foods with the help of visitors donations.
Hermitage Museum became a happy home to those stray cats, It’s nice to know that despite of what happened before, they still manage to adopt cats and give them love and care that they need, Also to those kind people who keeps donating in the Museum it’s a big help!