See How This Russian Couple Shares Their Apartment With A Very Big Cat

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Imagine living with two others in a one bedroom apartment, except that the other… is a 90 pound puma. Aleksandr Dmitriev and his wife, Mariya first spotted their now pet puma in the Saransk Zoo in Penza, Russia. The puma, whose name is Messi, after the soccer superstar was only eight-months-old when the Russian couple decided that they just had to take him home.

Aside from Messi, there were two other kittens that were living in the zoo. Suarez and Neymar were both named after famous soccer players as well, to commemorate Russia’s hosting of the World Cup. At only three-months-old, Messi was sold to the zoo where he was suffering from health problems. When the Dmitrievs saw the little kitten, they immediately fell in love and made an appeal to the zoo, hoping they could buy him from them.


According to Mariya, 38, her husband’s dream was to always own a big cat. Aleksandr had always wanted to own a lynx, but their dream came true when Messi the puma came home with them.

“We had three days of thinking hard about whether it was moral to keep a puma, and whether it was common sense to have one. But nothing could fight our sudden wish,” Mariya, 28, told the Mirror. “So we went to the zoo and started negotiations to buy Messi. We were surprised ourselves when they agreed.”

You can imagine how challenging it would be to care for a puma, especially in an apartment. Aside from the fact that this type of animal is meant to grow in the wild, the kitten needed more medical attention and care when they adopted him from the zoo. “‘He was quite weak and demanded a lot of attention,” said Mariya. And after Messi surpassed all the health problems he had when he was living in the zoo, he is still barely close to being as big as an average sized puma.


Just like any normal house pet, Messi needs everyday exercise and training. “He is like a dog. We started taking him for a walk, step by step. The animal hadn’t been really active before, Aleksandr said in an interview with RT, “Now we walk a lot twice a day, as it’s supposed to be. It doesn’t differ much from owning a dog in this sense.” They also were able to find a dog school that took on the responsibility of training Messi, and now he responds to different commands his parents call out.

Since having a puma for a pet practically never happens, the Dmitrievs document Messi’s life on Instagram and people are so taken with him. Their Instagram account @I_am_puma has over 500 thousand followers, while their YouTube account has about 170 thousand subscribers. For someone whose named after a famous football player, he doesn’t do too bad gaining followers too! Check out Messi’s life in pictures!


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