March 1 is the Day of Cats in Russia. This tradition has developed spontaneously, that is, it was born among the people. Similar dates exist in many other countries: in the USA, for example, cats are honored on October 29, in Poland on February 17, in Japan on February 22. Well, World Cat Day is celebrated, as you know, on August 8. No wonder: people’s love for cats is so great that it would be at least strange not to establish such holidays. Pets that have been living with us for more than a thousand years, really love, appreciate and respect. Proof of this can serve as hundreds of books, paintings, films, cartoons and even monuments dedicated to our furry friends. Well, since today is the eve of the Russian cat holiday, let’s recall at least some of these monuments erected in our country.
Cat Elisey and Vasilisa cat, St. Petersburg, ul. Malaya Sadovaya, d. 3 and d. 8
Two miniature cat figures are opposite each other: they “settled” on the walls of houses in the very center of the Northern capital. It is believed that the monument is dedicated to smoky Yaroslavl cats brought to Leningrad shortly after breaking the blockade ring. The “strategic cargo” from the Yaroslavl region was supposed to save the city on the Neva from hordes of rats that divorced here during the blockade. There were so many rats in the besieged city that it was not possible to escape from them even with the help of tanks. But the cats managed to defeat the evil rodents! In addition to the Yaroslavl cats, 5,000 cats from Siberia were also brought to Leningrad, especially in order to free the Hermitage and other palaces and museums from rats. January 25, 2000, in memory of these events on Malaya Sadovaya Street, a figure of Kot Elisha was installed, which was presented to the city by the famous St. Petersburg businessman Ilya Botka. The height of the cat is 33 cm; it weighs 25 kg. And already on April 1 of that year, Elisha had a “girlfriend”: on the house opposite, they installed a Vasilisa cat figurine. Both life-size animal sculptures were fashioned and cast from metal by the famous animal sculptor Vladimir Petrovich. Architect L.V. Domracheva.
Cat Alabrys (Cat Kazan), Kazan, st. Bauman, 11/12
Surprisingly, the story of the cat Alabrys, or the Cat of Kazan, is also associated with St. Petersburg. Legend has it that Empress Elizabeth I, arriving in Kazan on a visit, drew attention to the fact that there are no mice in the city. No, that’s all – as they would say today, “from the word at all.” It turned out that the absence of rodents is the merit of local cats. It was then that Her Imperial Majesty ordered to deliver 30 Kazan cats to the state capital, who were “hired” to the Hermitage and even called up for the state lifeguards service. It is believed that world-famous Hermitage cats are the descendants of those same migrants from Kazan. Well, Alabrys, as the most famous mousetrap, was awarded a personal monument. It was made of metal and installed in 2009 next to the historical building of the Kazan Hotel. The height of the monument is 3 meters, width – 2, 8 meters. The author of this cat monument is the sculptor Igor Bashmakov. By the way, there is a second monument to Alabrys, not far from the Raifa monastery; True, he is not as famous as Kazan Cat – one of the symbols of the capital of Tatarstan.
Cat Semen, Murmansk, the shore of Lake Semenov
This is a monument to the amazing cat love and devotion that shook the harsh northern city. In Murmansk, there is an urban legend that claims that the glorious cat managed to independently overcome the path of 2000 km from Moscow itself! There, in the capital, Semyon went to visit with his masters. Unfortunately, on the throne, the pussies got lost. Attracted to him by the lights of the capital or, perhaps, the delights of Moscow cats? The story is silent about this. At the same time, the same story assures us that people who love Semyon were burnt, burnt, and went home to the land of the northern lights. But the cat did not give up, and one day appeared on the threshold of his native home – after six years! How true this story is, one can only guess. But even if this is just a legend, everyone in Murmansk knows and loves it.
Yoshkin cat, Yoshkar-Ola, Leninsky Prospekt, 24v
In the capital of the Republic of Mari El, there is such a tradition: to come to Yoshkin’s cat and make wishes. They say that for the execution of the plan it is necessary to rub the cat’s nose. Judging by the brilliance of a cat’s nose, more than one thousand craving miracles have already managed to touch it. In any case, this is exactly what graduates of Mari State University do, the monument is located next to the main building. Having received a diploma, newly-minted specialists from various industries first go to the cat and carefully rub his nose in the hope of success in a professional career. Of course, tourists do not deny themselves the pleasure of sitting on a bench with His Cotesture, although they are still not very numerous, although Yoshkar-Ola is worth a visit. The sculptural composition was installed on June 23, 2011. The sponsor of the monument was a philanthropist from Moscow; at his expense, the sculpture was made in Kazan; the authors of the project are artists Anatoly Shirin and Sergey Yandubaev. The monument weighs 150 kg. Well, the name of the cat, probably, is clear to everyone: Yoshkin cat is almost the main symbol of Yoshkar-Ola!
Kitten from the street Lizyukova, Voronezh, st. General Lizyukova, 4
The hero of the wonderful Soviet cartoon, shot in 1988 at the Soyuzmultfilm studio by director Vyacheslav Kotyonochkin (how symbolic, is it true? :)) is known and loved far beyond Voronezh. And the inhabitants of this beautiful city themselves consider Kitten their pride and one of the main symbols of Voronezh. In the early 2000s, journalist Valery Maltsev, who worked at that time as the editor-in-chief of the newspaper Young Communard, proposed to erect a monument to the darling of the whole city – and, of course, on the same street, which, in fact, was famous for this cartoon. The idea was not only supported in the city hall but also announced a city competition for the best project. The winner of the creative competition was Irina Povarova, a schoolgirl, whose sketch was embodied in the metal by sculptor Ivan Dikunov with her sons. The sculpture was inaugurated on December 5, 2003, and since then it has been believed that the Kitten, like the cat Yoshkin we already know, fulfills wishes. To do this, just tickle the cat for a heel. By the way, the Voronezh sculpture is the first in Russia and the third monument to the cartoon hero in the world.
Square Siberian cats, Tyumen, st. Pervomayskaya (between the streets of the Republic and Lenin)
But in Tyumen, there is not even a separate monument, but a whole alley dedicated to cats! 12 sculptures cast from cast iron and coated with special paint were created by Marina Alchibaeva; the alley was opened on July 29, 2008 – on the day of the city. As planned by the sculptor, the composition is dedicated to the very Siberian cats that were “sent” to Leningrad, freed from the blockade, to save the Hermitage. Remember, we already spoke with you about this at the very beginning? This story looks like the eyes of the Tyumen themselves: the police caught street animals on the streets of the city, and some residents brought their pets to the collection point themselves: the large Siberian city really wanted to help Leningrad and generously shared its main wealth – Siberian cats with Leningraders…