Russian Couple Share Their Studio With An Oversized Cat
Meet the brave couple that shares their home with a playful two-year-old cougar. In 2016, Alexandr Dmitriev and his wife, Mariya, decided to adopt a young cougar called Messi and raise him as a house-pet in their small, studio apartment in Penza, Russia.
Messi follows a strict grooming routine to ensure he doesn’t make too much of a mess around the house – he gets washed in the bath, has his nails trimmed, his teeth checked and he receives a special brush-down every day. The big cat eats twice a day with a diet consisting of turkey, beef, a bit of chicken breast and some bones. And with a growing social media following of 250,000 on Instagram and more than 2 million views on YouTube, Messi has become a local celebrity.
According to his owners, Messi has a condition that makes him only half of the size a normal, healthy puma would have at his age. Still, they both claim he is just like having a dog. "We live together, sleep together," Alexandr Dmitriev said. "He convinced us with his behavior that he's a full member of our family and that he wouldn't be doing anything bad apart from some small naughty things. He's very kind and likes contact. He gets on very well with people."
They saw Messi when he was but a little cub in a petting ZOO. "The first time we saw him in the zoo, I think we both had the same feeling towards this animal," Mariya said. "It was such an excitement, such tenderness. Like, I don't know, it's impossible to grasp but it was very strong."
The one thing everyone who has seen the oversized pet online have but one question - where does he go to the toilet? The answer is pretty simple really - he uses the bathtub.