In the Middle Ages there was a special breed of “fighting” cats in Kazan. These cats were big and brawny and had round head, wide muzzle, strong legs and a short tail.
In the middle of 18th century rumors about this breed reached the Imperial Court. By the decree of Empress Elizabeth (daughter of Peter the Great) from October 13, 1745 thirty cats were brought from Kazan to Petersburg. These cats had a special assignment – catching mice, which had crowded the Winter Palace. Kazan cats proved to be excellent hunters and were recruited to the Life Guards. Cats caught mice, amused the Empress and had a very joyful life: they were fed the best food – beef and black cocks. Empress Elizabeth loved Kazan cats and could not economize on their wellness.
Empress Catherine the Great during her visit to Kazan in 1767 stayed in house of a merchant Dryablov and was pleasantly surprised by the luxury and the absence of mice. So she also decided to invite Kazan cats to Petersburg.
The descendants of the Kazan cats still live in St. Petersburg and guard the Hermitage Museum from mice.
Monument of Kazan Cat is situated on the Bauman Street of Kazan.
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