Fluffy treasure: where Russia has undertaken cats and why they are so loved
Categories: AnimalsBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/en/article/fluffy-treasure-where-russia-has-undertaken-cats-and-why-they-are-so-loved
Today we can't even imagine that cats in Russia was exotic and incredibly valuable commodity. And even more difficult to accept the fact that there was a time when these animals did not exist at all. Whence came to us and why cats are highly valued by our ancestors?
The first cats to Russia brought by sea before we reigned Christianity. For a very long time to keep these animals could only very wealthy people. Judge for yourself — until the XV century for the cat asked the same as for the adult working ox.
If someone accidentally killed another pet, it is necessary to compensate the owner of not only material but also moral damage. On top of the cost of a ruined beast had to give hryvnia — silver ingot weighing 205 grams. However, the same amount was awarded for killing a home or a hunting dog.
In the collection of laws "Metropolice justice", referring to the XIII century, reparations were told this:
Not surprisingly, the cat treated in those days, especially carefully, and no matter your or someone else's. While in Europe of cats, especially black people, thousands were burned at the stake, drowned and cut in half like the devil's spawn and the minions of the witches, our ancestors believed that this animal is extremely positive and clean.
Of all the animals the cat was allowed to go to the temple. The clergy, in General, loved the animals and kept in temples and monasteries. Unassuming and self-predators helped to protect from rodents abundant reserves the monastery of grain and other products stored for future use.
Of course, not without cats and at court. In 1661 Dutch painter Frederick Moucheron painted the portrait of the cat, which belonged to Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich. Czech master Wenceslas Hollar later created in explanation engraving, stored now in the State Hermitage.
For a long time it was believed that this is a portrait of a cat of Ivan IV the terrible, but in 1884 it was denied by the art historian and collector Dmitry Rovinsky. He paid special attention to the engraving in his book "Materials for Russian iconography":
The son of the owner of the famous cat, Tsar Peter I thought cats animals that bring humanity a big favor. In one of the decrees of the Tsar-reformer commands: "to Have barn cats, for the protection thereof, and of mice and rats of intimidation".
But in order to make the shaggy dog, or even several, a Royal decree was not needed — everybody knew how cats famously deal with pests. Peter has always lived cats, but especially the king loved cat named Basil. This animal gave the Emperor in 1724, by a Dutch merchant, at a party in whose Vologda king often stayed travel.
Queen Elizabeth loved cats, no less than the father. In 1745, she was ordered to bring in the Winter Palace 30 neutered cats-the exterminators. Fulfilling the will of the Queen in Saint Petersburg animals brought from as far as Kazan was believed that this is where the most skilled hunters of rodents. Preserved in the archives of the "Decree of expulsion cats to the court," States:
Not all Russian monarchs loved cats, but without them nobody could. Catherine too good to these animals, but it in the Winter Palace became even more. At the court of the cats lived on the rights of the "guardians of galleries" and get this special caste was not easy. For internal service selected specially educated and beautiful animals, often Russian blue breed.
Gradually tailed cats ceased to be a rarity and at the end of the XVIII century, cats were to be found not only in the monasteries, and merchant palaces and Royal residences, but in peasant huts. The people loved them very much, as evidenced by the many references in folklore.
In 1853 linguist Vladimir Dahl published a book "Proverbs of the Russian people", in which cats were mentioned 75 times. Such sayings as "Not necessary, and will be a Great post" and "Cat killing seven years anything bad luck" came in one form or another to the present day.
Almost all cats that were present during the siege in Leningrad, did not survive its first year. They had either been captured or died of starvation. That is why in 1943, German troops besieged in the town was imported from Yaroslavl 5 thousand smoky cat and later a railway train animals from Siberia. This measure allowed us to take control of catastrophically bred rat population.
Cats in the siege of Leningrad was valued very highly. Soviet writer Leonid Panteleev wrote that the kitten requested to 500 rubles, despite the fact that for 50 rubles hand you could buy a kilo of bread, and the salary of the janitor was only 120 rubles.
The Hermitage cats are successfully working till now. You won't see them in the exhibition halls, but they carry their service in the courts and extensive cellars. Each animal into account, has his pet passport, a bowl and a bed in the form of a basket.
British newspaper the Telegraph wrote in 2016 about these cats as important sights of St. Petersburg, which is a must-see for visitors to the city. In an interview given to the press in 2014, the Hermitage Director Mikhail Piotrovsky said about the unusual Museum staff the following:
In Russian folk tales cats very much. It should be noted that they often came from the ancient pagan mythology, such as is known to all cat Bayun. This strange and dangerous beast Pushkin goes through the chain in Arkhangelsk and in ancient legends sits on the iron pillar in the forest, waiting for a careless travellers.
Worth mentioning another character of Slavic mythology, Earthy cat, guarding the treasures. About this beast told in their Ural tales Bazhov. The writer describes the legends of the Ural miners and prospectors, who were convinced that Earthy cat is guarding underground treasures. On the surface, it almost never appears, but sometimes over the land, you notice her sharp ears.
As you can see, for a Russian cat — animal special, even sacred. Is it any wonder that today among Pets they are the leaders in popularity, and in all regions of the country.
Keywords: The blockade | Cats | Peasants | Hunter | Peter I | Russia | Folklore | King | Price
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