“Guard cats” in public service
2013 01 23

By Julia Galiullina | TheVoiceofRussia



The State Hermitage Museum in St.Petersburg ‘hires’ cats to protect its artworks against rodents. The so-called ‘guard cats’ go unnoticed as they dwell in the attics and basements, away from the tourist eye. The museum administration has been ‘employing’ these highly skillful ‘guards’ ever since the museum was founded in 1764. Even though nowadays rats and mice can easily be exterminated using chemicals, the museum cannot do without cats who have become its living legend and mascot.

The first cats were introduced for ‘public service’ in the 18th century. Tsar Peter I was the first to provide shelter for a big cat he had brought from Holland at the then wooden Winter Palace. Later on, Empress Elizabeth ordered a batch of rat-catching cats from Kazan because she was scared of small rodents.

Cats acquired the status of palace guards during the reign of Catherine II. Under Catherine the Great, they were divided into chamber cats (the Russian Blue breed), and backyard cats who chased rats and mice guarding Her Majesty’s peace of mind.

The State Hermitage Museum started as a private collection of Empress Catherine II, who acquired 220 works by Dutch and Flemish artists through her agents in Berlin. At first, most of the paintings she had acquired were placed in the secluded parts of the Winter Palace which became known as the “hermitage”, or a “retreat”, in French.

Hermitage-employed cats survived the October Revolution and continued their service under the Soviet government. However, they didn’t survive the siege of Leningrad during the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945. After starving people ate all the cats, the city was infested by rats. But as soon as the blockade was over, two carriages with cats arrived in Leningrad (now St.Petersburg) from Russia’s central regions making the backbone of a new squadron of rat-eating cats.

Cat numbers rose to an unprecedented high in the second half of the 1960s. As cats invaded basements, museum rooms and corridors, the museum administration was ordered to get rid of them which they did. However, several years later, the ‘tailed guards’ were ordered back as the museum found it too hard to do without them in its struggle for the preservation of cultural values.

Since then, Hermitage cats have been taken good care of. Each so-called “hermit” carries a passport with a photo certifying that he is qualified to pursue the difficult task of protecting the museum basements against rodents. The cats are well looked after, fed properly, attended to if ill and respected for their hard work. Museum employees know all male and female cats by their names, and the name for each cat is picked carefully, to suit his or her character.

[...]

Read the full article at: ruvr.ru






Red Ice Radio speaks with guest Kenneth Humphreys in Hour 2 about the Dark Ages, and how the persecution and eradication of the medieval house cat directly influenced the spread of the Black Plague:

Kenneth Humphreys - The Christian Crusades, Dark Ages, Knights Templar, Jesuits, Islam & Zionism

Guest Ben Singleton also discusses cats in popular culture and the use of the cat as occult in the media and entertainment industries:

Ben Singleton - Pseudoccult Media








Related Articles
Cat caught sneaking saw, phone into Brazil prison
Oregon Plague: Woman Contracts Disease From Cat
Cat has been mayor of Alaska town for 15 years
Cats Outnumber Humans On Japan’s Cat Island
The Cat and the Occult
Lady Gaga fan kills cat for blood
Man Divorces Wife Over Her 550 Cats
Do Cats Fake Sleep?
How the Catholic Church Created the Black Death by Eradicating the "Satanic" House Cat
Ravens Protect The British Monarchy


Latest News from our Front Page

Sweden Recognizes Palestinian State; Israel Upset
2014 10 31
Sweden on Thursday became the biggest Western European country to recognize a Palestinian state, prompting a strong protest from Israel, which swiftly withdrew its ambassador from Stockholm. The move by Sweden’s new left-leaning government reflects growing international impatience with Israel’s nearly half-century control of the West Bank, east Jerusalem and its blockade of the Gaza Strip. It also comes during increased ...
Fed-Backed Study: How to Brainwash Public into Fearing “Climate Change” Like Ebola
2014 10 31
$84K study seeks ways to make public fear "climate change and overpopulation" The National Science Foundation is funding a study to determine how to brainwash the public into fearing “climate change and overpopulation” as if they were Ebola. The NSF awarded an $84,000 grant to researchers at the State University of New York at Buffalo yesterday to figure out how to make ...
Brain decoder can eavesdrop on your inner voice
2014 10 31
As you read this, your neurons are firing – that brain activity can now be decoded to reveal the silent words in your head TALKING to yourself used to be a strictly private pastime. That’s no longer the case – researchers have eavesdropped on our internal monologue for the first time. The achievement is a step towards helping people who cannot ...
6 Million Lies
2014 10 30
“If you do not specify and confront real issues, what you say will surely obscure them. If you do not alarm anyone morally, you yourself remain morally asleep. If you do not embody controversy, what you say will be an acceptance of the drift of the coming hell.” C Wright Mills. I need to share information I have discovered ...
Google’s New Computer With Human-Like Learning Abilities Will Program Itself
2014 10 30
In college, it wasn’t rare to hear a verbal battle regarding artificial intelligence erupt between my friends studying neuroscience and my friends studying computer science. One rather outrageous fellow would mention the possibility of a computer takeover, and off they went. The neuroscience-savvy would awe at the potential of such hybrid technology as the CS majors argued we have nothing to ...
More News »