Scores of Cats Work at the Hermitage Museum in Russia
Do you love cats? Is one cat not enough? How about 20? How about 70? If you like the sound of that, then it might be time to move to Russia and apply at the Hermitage Museum, where your co-workers will be more than 65 cats.
This segment from Museum Secrets features the feline workers of the Hermitage fine arts museum in St. Petersburg, where the cats are "employed" to hunt the vermin that threaten the great masterpieces stored in the basement. Cats have been working at the Hermitage for more than 200 years. They were brought in by an 18th-century empress to clear the mice and rats that were overrunning the former palace. Talk about tenure!
There are staff members devoted exclusively to the care of the cats, who have their own headquarters in the basement, where they are fed and given health care.
Besides working, the cats are considered mascots of the museum, and while they are now relegated to the basement, a few fine art-loving felines sneak into the galleries to peruse the pieces there. When there are too many cats, some are given away to local families. It's considered a great honor to receive a kitty from the Hermitage Museum.
Via Laughing Squid