When you drive down the streets of your city or take a stroll on the sidewalks of your neighborhoods, how many stray cats do you see on average? It’s something that most people take for granted these days. The growing numbers of them are acknowledged but what can be done about it? There are a few organizations in the United States who take it upon themselves to attempt to trap feral cats to give them medical treatment and house them in shelters until they can be adopted, but the need is far more than most grassroots movements can handle. Individual municipalities attempt to address the issue and while the programs they manage are doing some good, the problem is way out of control. In an interesting story that just surfaced, the city of Moscow in Russia is taking a different approach to their stray cat situation.
Unique job advertisement
An advertisement for an unusual job position was posted in a Russian classified ad. It read: Wanted: Cat chief. The ad continued with the description that indicated that the job location is Zelenogradsk, Russia. Details of the duties for the job are simply “Tending to the town’s approximately 70 stray cats.” While the advertisement drew smirks from some who thought that it was a joke, others took it quite seriously and more than 80 people with a devout love for cats applied for the position. Zelenogradsk is a small community that is located in the Kaliningrad region. It’s interesting that the town has a cat statue within the town and it stands as a sign to all who enter that the town is a designated “cat loving community.”
Seeking a new identity
Zelenogradsk is a small town that is attempting a rebranding process. They don’t wish to merely be seen as a community of cat worshippers with a statue of a cat in the center of town. They are more interested in becoming “Russia’s foremost cat-loving community.” This is a story that cat-lovers in America can easily relate to, with the exception that most towns in the U.S. have far more than a mere 70 stray cats running around their neighborhoods, with the counts steadily rising each year. Although it’s not yet been disclosed, we’re wondering how the Russian cat-loving community knows that they have precisely 70 stray cats in town? Is there somebody out there counting them and giving estimates? If there is, this speaks well of them in their efforts to reach the animals who are in need of food, shelter and medical attention.
A model for cities throughout the world
While not all small towns can spare any extra budget expenditures, the Russian town is paying the equivalent of just $85 per month for their new cat chief. We could all take inspiration from their gallant effort to make a difference in the lives of helpless felines. In fact, there’s a high likelihood that if such a position were to be posted as a volunteer assignment, city halls would have long lines of cat-lovers applying for the position, just like the town of Zelenograds, in Russia. They’re setting an excellent example and it would be heartwarming to see it catch on globally. It only takes a few people in each town to make a tremendous difference.
Who got the job?
In case you’re wondering which lucky resident of the eighty-some applicants was hired, her name is Svetlana Logunova. She’s a local resident and her new post assumes the duties of being the “guardian to the town’s felines.” The town has supplied her with an official uniform that features a bright green jacket, a black hat and bow tie, and a bicycle to go out about her duties. What do you see her doing when she’s on the job? Why she’s out there giving them food, petting and snuggling as many as possible and even giving a few free rides in her bike’s basket. She loves the job and is reaching out to many of the stray cats who live within the city, but she is only one person and she reported that it is going to take more than one person to meet the needs of the 70 cats. If only one or two people helped it would make a tremendous difference.