During your stay in St. Petersburg, you may have noticed how cats are regarded here in the city – they play a special role and are welcomed in the most unlikely places. I personally saw a cat inside the Peter and Paul Cathedral: if there it is striclty forbidden to use the flash on your camera, a cat hanging around the imperial tombs would simply be allowed. A similar situation I also experienced at Anna Akhmatova museum at the Fountain House, where even a collection for the cats hosted there has been organized. You may also have heard of the “Guardians of the Hermitage” – it’s again cats, who have been living beneath the Museum’s magnificent halls and corridors even since Catherine the Great, serving the Museum and protecting it from the dangers of mice and rats.
Considering the whole introduction, you will not be suprised to hear that in St. Petersburg two Cats Museums have been opened. Actually, both of them are quite recent, since the first was opened in Всеволожск (Bsevolosgsk,from metro station Ладожская, Ladogsckaja, just take the bus 531) in 2008 and the second, which is located just 5 minutes off Исаакиевской площад (Isaakievskoj Ploshad’), only opened in 2010.
Inside the museums, more than 4000 different cats stay together, and, during your visit, you will have the opportunity to meet more than 3000 of them. And the collection is continuously being enhanced with additional exhibits. As a matter of fact, the majority of them are a present, given as a gift by everybody. In fact, donators include colleagues, friends, collectors or simply visitors of the museums, guests from different cities or countries. In this sense it is clear to see that these museums are very popular.
But let me intoduce you to the great protagonists of the museums: the cats exhibeted there – they are works of art, costumes, souvenirs, posters, postcards, photographs. In the form of cats, with cats, in honour of cats. In addition to them, of course, the most important exhibits of the museums are real cats!
Moreover, these museums are really unique: differently from any other musem in the world, almost all of the exhibits can be (or even have to be) touched – otherwise how would you know the weight of the heaviest (or the lightest) cat in the world?
So, dear cat lovers, what are you waiting for? Just book an excursion (visits to the museums are with fee and need to be booked in advance), you will learn about the history of each cats, about its biology, and its image in art, since cats have being serving as a muse for writers, poets, musicians and artists for ages. If you want, you can even adopt one of the residents of the museums or contribute to the improvement of life of homeless animals.