Art and Cats at a World-famous Museum

screen shot of page
Screen shot of the video report from the Hermitage on CBC News.

This managed colony of working cats is well-loved and cared for—and in existence since 1745 when Empress Elizabeth, daughter of Peter the Great, decreed the cats should protect the treasures of the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia, one of the largest museums in the world. A staff spends hours each day caring for the rescued cats, and feline images can be found in the museum’s own decoration, in murals and paintings, all over the museum.

So what was that about cats being a danger to human health and welfare? If a managed colony is good enough for one of the world’s most famous and most visited museums, it’s good enough for hotels and apartment complexes.

The three million works of art at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, are protected from rats and mice by a small army of about 65 cats rescued from the streets.

via 65 cats protect artworks at Russia museum – Arts & Entertainment – CBC News.

Thanks to Mlle. Daisy Emerald’s mama Denise for sending this—and it is noted that the black kitty in the video looks very much like both Mlle. and Mewsette, two cats known to have an extensive knowledge and appreciation of art!


All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.



From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, factual articles and fictional stories, "The Creative Cat" offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

6 thoughts on “Art and Cats at a World-famous Museum

  • July 8, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    Hey it’s Jet here.

    Great story and your conclusion is quite logical.

  • July 8, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    The only bummer is that the cats are restricted to the basement. I’d think it would be a good idea for them to be able to hunt in the entire museum after hours. You never know what might be lurking elsewhere….

    • July 8, 2012 at 1:20 pm

      Amby, the only thing is that when you watch the video you see them all over the place, even in the museum proper, and outdoors. I think they may be more concerned about the paintings in storage than the ones on display, which obviously are in controlled conditions and closely guarded, so they want the cats where there isn’t such scrutiny. I can’t imagine trying to round up 65 cats before visiting hours each day either…

    • July 8, 2012 at 1:21 pm

      Thanks, Rumpydog–it’s from the CBC, and I wonder where the reporting is in the US.


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