Couple Adopts Pet Cat, But It Grows Bigger & Bigger & They Realize Why

Apr 19, 2021Rita Kumar

Barely five years ago, a couple was oblivious of the basic rules of soccer. But now, they are ardent fans of the game, and their transformation can be attributed only to Messi—not the Argentine footballer, anyway. Then who is Messi? Is it their son? Or that cute neighbor boy? Honestly, it’s their pet—a cat, to be precise. But what this Russian couple had been raising in their little home turned out to be a huge shock when their paw pal was anything but a cat…

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In Love With Animals…

Both Maria and Aleksandr were pretty confident in their day jobs, were trained psychologists, and had diverse hobbies. To draw a similar line in their different passion, the couple loved having animals around. But their busy lifestyle in a small studio apartment in Penza was typically too unaccommodating to even think of leashing any of those domestic creatures. Still, Maria and Aleksandr just knew what to bring home… it was a pet cat. However, little did they know where this significant decision would lead them to…

Image Credits: Instagram/l_am_puma

A Pet On Leash Doesn’t Always Have To Be A Dog

Whether they are dogs, cats, hamsters, or even owls, animal lovers find immense joy in having them around. Seeing these creatures stage their funny antics in itself paints the ambiance with pleasure. Perhaps, every pet lover out there always has a reason to make some space in their heart for their little ball of fur, fins, and feathers. But even an ardent animal lover out there would smirk with disbelief after seeing the Dmitrievs walk their pet, leashed and pawing along.

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The Day That Changed It All…

While some animals are considered “normal” for being domesticated, some typically fall under the “unusual” category. Maybe whatever Maria and Aleksandr brought home that day, hoping to find a good pet in him, proved them wrong by all means. Before this alleged pet became a colossal part of their lives, the couple led a peaceful life in Penza. They lived a pretty normal life until they heard about an animal in need of help. Soon, they unified their decisions and mutually got to the spot to see if they could help the poor creature.

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Setting Out To Help

They say life changes during unpredictable situations. Perhaps it has happened to almost all of us, especially when we aren’t prepared to see what is coming ahead of our decisions. It was something similar in Dmitrievs’ case. When they decided to help the creature out of trouble, they were unaware of their future together with this animal, put together under the same roof... 

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A Carefree Attitude

Though Maria and Aleksandr were trained in psychology, they couldn’t interpret the authenticity of this animal’s behavior. Obviously, they mastered the skill of interpreting the human mind, and it can only be said they haven’t yet touched the animal psychology part. So, what urged them to just rush to this helpless creature at the local zoo?

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Two Souls In The Same Route

Well, you can just say that these two were humanity-driven. Most of all, they loved animals and couldn’t bear it when they heard that one such animal needed immediate assistance. Maria and Aleksandr couldn’t accept the fact that a poor feline in need out there was almost on the brim of losing it to fate. Honestly, it was a do-or-die situation, and the Dmitrievs knew they couldn’t delay any further…

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It’s More About Cats

The local petting zoo housed all kinds of animals. But when they reached the spot, they didn’t know anything about that one creature that would soon change their fate. Maria and Aleksandr loved animals, but the two had more liking towards cats. They even had a bald Sphynx cat named Kira in their one-bedroom apartment. So, it can be only said that the two were already aware of what it feels like to share the same roof with a feline. And that’s when they stumbled upon a piece of news that shook them from head to toe.

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Adding One More To The Family

Of course, the couple dreamed of adding one more to their pet brood, and the whole encounter was typically timed. To add more drama to their passion, Aleksandr desired to take home a pet, which otherwise is exotic and not an everyday animal you would see your neighbor have beside them while on a walk. Amidst their love for the wild, Maria and Aleksandr crossed paths with a cat, and the two instantly decided to carry out an act of kindness.

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After Some Famous Names

In 2018, Russia hosted the FIFA World Cup, one of the biggest sporting events globally and the most significant competition in the world of soccer. That year, Penza’s petting zoo received three newborn animals and decided to name them after the famous soccer players: Suarez, Neymar, and Messi. While the other two were getting well with time, Messi’s health began to deteriorate.

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A Life-changing Encounter 

At just three months old, the little feline had to undergo so much that was beyond his capacity. He hadn’t seen much of the world other than the zoo’s enclosure. Why would anyone keep a kitten caged in the first place? Meanwhile, the zoo staff clutched onto their hope and prayed hard that the little ball of fur makes it with a bang. Soon, it would go on to become a life-changing encounter after Maria and Aleksandr intervened…

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Getting Down To Business

The zookeepers were so determined and decided not to say yes to the couple. Maria and Aleksandr’s effort to save the cat from facing his bitter fate almost faded, and they knew what had to be done next. Without further thought about how much money they had, the couple decided to buy Messi instead of begging for his custody. However, it wasn’t an easy task, either.

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Surprise On The Way…

After several negotiations and talking through the topic, Messi was finally sold! The zoo authorities agreed to give him away in return for the deal the couple had closed on him. During a candid conversation later, Maria confessed how they were surprised when the zookeepers agreed to sell him off. The deal was closed, and Messi was now theirs. But this was just the beginning of a new chapter in the “what next” of their fate…

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As Days Passed…

Bringing Messi into their home packed some additional tasks too. He was quite different, and that somehow urged Maria and Aleksandr to think out of the box for his stay with them. But as days grew, the couple gained more consciousness of what they were dealing with. To add more fuel to their daily errands and responsibilities, Messi revealed the other side of him through his erratic behavior that was way different from their Sphynx cat, Kira’s.

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More Challenges To Deal With

Pretty soon, the couple knew that if they wished to keep him, they’d have to make an array of changes in the house. Amidst their little adventure with the new pet cat, the couple was forced to face several curious onlookers, especially from their neighborhood. They started to look at Messi differently as he wasn’t the typical house cat people normally have. However, Maria and Aleksandr just didn’t seem to care and continued with their efforts to nurture Messi in that “perfect” home setting... 

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A Lot Of Changes Come Into Action

The surroundings in the Dmitriev household had begun to transform with incredible details. Several adjustments were made to keep the surroundings clear of mishaps, especially when Messi was around. The couple started their home renovation, the hallway refurbishment being the first step. Bamboo-paneled walls took over the typical concrete walls while a tree trunk was brought into the house for Messi to climb and enjoy his day in the makeshift wilderness. All this, for a domestic cat? Well, there’s more to the bigger picture here…

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Wrong Assumptions

Despite all that renovation throughout the nook and corner, Messi preferred a peculiar spot to everything else fashioned for him. His favorite place was bland. Rather than adapting to his makeshift wilderness, he loved to climb atop the toilet window and stare across the grasslands surrounding the apartment. This typical behavior urged Aleksandr to think the same for Messi—that he was just any other typical cat in the house. Deep down, he was wrong.

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A Perfect Cat That’s Not Actually A Cat

Messi’s behavior proved anything similar to a domestic cat. Since the couple had forehand experience raising Kira, their new cat’s behavior proved somewhat familiar. Though he exhibited a typical cat’s habits, something seemed out of the ordinary when Aleksandr confessed a significant truth about Messi to the media. Soon, people started to set their gaze upon the family and their so-called pet. 

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Hail To Messi & Soccer

Both Maria and he weren’t big soccer fans before Messi came into their lives. The furry miracle turned out to be a cat named after one of the heartthrobs of the game, so it’s obviously difficult not to get driven by the name in itself. “We’re not soccer fans… we didn’t even know soccer rules…,” Aleksandr told Reuters. He even confessed how they now cheer for Argentina simply because of their cat, Messi. Soon, the couple became a pilgrimage site for reporters who flocked to them to know more about their cat…

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A Gift To Suit The Name 

Every reporter they’d encountered either taped or jotted down their unusual story of raising their feline. The news of the couple raising Messi spread like wildfire in the media world that sought to know more about this unusual pet. Though several reporters turned back with enough content to spearhead their next article, one Brazilian reporter gestured his meeting with the couple and Messi in the most unthinkable way.

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This Is It…

As you can guess already, Messi, the cat, received a soccer ball from this reporter. Just like any other species of his kind, he loved to cuddle with toys, and it can be easily told apart by his bite marks alone. Both Maria and Aleksandr agree that Messi loves the particular soccer ball the Brazilian journalist gave him. Does that mean Messi is a four-legged reincarnation of the living soccer legend?

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Combating The Risk

Well, let’s just leave that to guesswork for now! Although Messi the cat is not aware of dribbling and passing, he still loves to play with the ball and bite it. While his name gives several reasons to live up to, the couple didn’t like the idea of pressurizing their pet to learn the game. While Maria and Aleksandr got quite well with Messi, they had a different reason to worry as they had to treat him with respect and caution. To get to the bottom of perfection, they had to train him, and it wasn’t that easy.

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A Dog Trainer To Train A Cat

Training animals like Messi wasn’t a common profession in Russia, and the very thought of this urged the couple to think out of the box. They searched far and wide for animal trainers willing to train their cat to act in an adaptable way in the neighborhood. Unfortunately, they always returned empty-handed. Finally, they tried their luck with a local dog trainer. A dog trainer to train a cat? Honestly, it was their only hope…

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Mission Messi Cannot Get Messy…

To their amazement, the dog trainer thumbed up their idea and put Messi alongside the other training dogs. They say cats mend their ways and need no training, but Messi’s case was quite different. Today, he understands, knows most of the basic commands, and would never do it if you say “No.” Unlike dogs on a leash, Messi was even taught to obey his owners’ orders, and that effort even urged his folks to put him on a leash.

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Cat On A Leash

If you’re anywhere around Penza and happen to see a man with a cat on a leash, the man would be Aleksandr Dmitriev, and the pet would be Messi. The cat might almost seem like a dog on a leash except for his fuller face and long whiskers if you look closely. And back home, his antics almost replicate an everyday cat as Messi behaves the cat-most way possible. If he’s a cat, he’d obviously act like one. But there is a small catch here—Messi was no ordinary cat…

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The Truth That Shocks Many Even Today…

The feline Maria and Aleksandr had been raising for so long is actually a cougar, known as the puma or, more precisely, a mountain lion! Though Messi is now a big part of the family, his unpredictable behavior is hundred percent cat-like. Aleksandr spilled out hilariously, saying that he’s a big spoiled cat who chews a bone like a dog. However, Messi still keeps his predatory instincts well-preserved when he does this…

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Predatory Instincts Preserved

He climbs atop high places, and if that sounds like something your cat does, then it’s obvious why Messi does it. Climbing to a certain elevation helps predatory species gain a perfect stance of their territory and locate potential prey. Though Messi doesn’t hunt like the other cougars in the wild, he desires to gain a commanding view of the surroundings by simply looking at them from an elevation.

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Amassing Celebrity Status

Any given pet will be an added expense on the grocery list that owners have to deal with, and Messi is no exception. Considering him being a wild animal, the couple always ensures to treat him with a steady raw meat diet. However, the couple doesn’t mind even if their bills for his food sums up to $300 to $600 a month. Ever since the Dmitrievs adopted Messi, he’s become a worldwide celebrity like his namesake and has amassed a massive online following…

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Going Beyond Instagram 

Despite being a “wild” celebrity, Messi hasn’t lost his head! “He does not realize that he’s a star, thank God, as stars usually have demands,” Aleksandr told Reuters. The cougar lives out of what his owners provide him and never demands anything out of the box. He even sleeps with them and knows how to obey their orders, something wild animals don’t usually do. Meanwhile, his Instagram fame soared to new heights, but it didn’t end there…

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Messi Is On YouTube!

Apart from being Instagram famous, Messi has a broader fanbase elsewhere and is even celebrated on his YouTube channel Maria manages on his behalf. The hundreds of thousands of followers on YouTube often visit the channel to watch the incredible documentation that proves how wilderness and humanity can share the same roof out of love. Fans apart, Maria and Aleksandr had to deal with critics who called their pet “problematic.”

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With Fame Came Critics & Comments…

Several critics condemned the couple for domesticating an animal that should otherwise belong to the wilderness or wildlife refuge. But the couple explained their choice to keep the puma, saying that he doesn’t know how to behave with fellow cougars. They said that Messi wouldn’t survive independently and would only find a better home with them in their house. However, having the cougar around as a pet comes with a fair share of complications…

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Some New Plans In Discussion

Whether they like it or not, Maria and Aleksandr cannot go on vacation being cat sitters for a feline this size. And finding a hotel that would be willing to shelter a couple with a cougar in one of their suites isn’t very likely, either. But it’s not just about the vacations as the couple hardly go out with friends. Their one-bedroom apartment is small in itself, with the corridor and living room serving as Messi’s living space. Surprisingly, the couple has planned to move to a bigger house quite soon. But do you know what they intend to do once they move to a luxurious abode?

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There’s More To Think Of Now!

Since their experience with Messi has been so adorable and cheerful, the two are planning to add one more to the number, doing it all over again by bringing home a leopard! Deep down, the couple hopes that Messi would find a good friend in the leopard since Kira hasn’t been very fond of him ever since he moved in together. Then again, if Messi and the leopard fight, then breaking it might be another hassle on the way. For now, the happy family is living their life, king-size and shielded by love… of course, a lot of wilderness, too, thanks to Messi, the pet puma!

Image Credits: Instagram/l_am_puma

Nothing compares to the joy of owning a pet! As an animal lover myself, it’s pretty easy to decode the reason behind all that joy Maria and Aleksandr are experiencing ever since Messi knocked their hearts with love! So, what do you think? Should we adopt a pet cougar anytime soon? Just kidding! Get in touch with us and tell us what you think about this touching story. And please don’t forget to hit that “Share” button! Thanks for reading!

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