Rent-a-cat in St. Pete

An unusual and amusing service has been established in St. Petersburg – a cat for lease or rent. An old Russian tradition stretching back to paganism prescribes that people first let a cat to their new apartment or house. Now, instead of buying a pet you can just use the services of St. Pete’s “Poteryashka” (Lost-and-Found) charitable center for homeless animals. The organization’s owners have no objection if the rental lingers somewhat and are really glad when their clients adopt errant cats.

All Poteryashka critters share similar difficult fates – some of them were found with serious injuries on the streets, others were rescued from cruel owners. The most formidable challenge is to find a new home for adult animals – they are in less demand as compared to small kittens which people adopt with great enthusiasm. It was therefore decided to employ business know-how – people are far more likely to buy if they have a chance to touch the goods with their own hands. And no one wants you to pay – your good treatment of the unfortunate animal will be enough, the organization’s head Marina Pushenko says.

There is always a hope that something magical will happen when you stay one on one with a hapless beast in a cozy atmosphere. There’s nothing like it. That’s why we never hurry to take a cat back from you and let it live at your place as long as you want, Marina Pushenko explained.

Strange as it may be, demand for this service is growing with every single day. A cat nicknamed Gulya, for instance, entered the apartment of the Nesterov family as a “worker” so to say, but gradually turned into a full-fledged family member. Having decided to adopt her after moving to another place, they never gave their furry friend back to Poteryashka, the head of the family, Leonid Nesterov, said.

We never considered buying a pet and instead wanted to find a wayward kitty and take care of it somehow, to make it feel better, Leonid Nesterov explained.

Although underbred and with a scarred eye, the cat is regarded as part of the family and a friend.


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