Caturday felid: Pet cougars and panthers try to wake owners; Loyal Sea Cat Herman; cat goes nuts on ‘nip; and lagniappe

March 25, 2023 • 9:30 am

Messi, the pet cougar in the video below, has his own Wikipedia page with lots of information, which notes this:

Messi (Russian: Месси; born 30 October 2015) is a pet cougar, model and Internet celebrity, owned by Russian couple Alexandr and Mariya Dmitriev. The Dmitrievs live with Messi in a two-storey house on a large plot of land in Penza, Russia. Messi was adopted in 2016 from a local petting zoo. In 2017, the Dmitrievs started an Instagram account and a YouTube channel for Messi, which became very popular by 2018 and continues to grow in subscribers.

He was, as you might have suspected, named after soccer great Lionel Messi.  People have argued that he should be put in a reserve or zoo because he could cause trouble, but the Dmietrievs say that Messi has already passed sexual maturity (he’s 7 years old) and is still tame, and he also requires daily medication.  Read more about him on Wikipedia, his Instagram page, and his YouTube channel (60 videos!), but here’s a cute video of Messi waking up Alexandr. Listen to that purr!

Messi’s just like a housecat—loud and insistent at breakfast time! It’s hard to ignore a giant paw on your face, though.

And here’s another zoo-rescue panther (presumably a melanistic cougar), named Luna. You can read more about her here.  Some facts:

Luna is an adorable panther that was born in a zoo in Siberia. For some unknown reason, her mother completely rejected her and refused to give her much-needed milk and care. Luna’s chances for surviving were slim, but thankfully, an amazing woman came to the rescue. The woman had experience with raising big cats and decided to help Luna survive by taking care of her and feeding her a diet filled with vitamins that she desperately needed.

Soon, the woman grew attached to Luna and decided to buy her from the zoo—but only because she knew that she could give Luna the life she deserves and needs. Soon, Luna became part of the family. She met the woman’s dog named Venza. After a long process of introducing them and making sure they get along, a beautiful friendship bloomed. They are inseparable, always together: playing, running, and exploring the world around them. They are best friends and look absolutely adorable together!

Look at that scratching post at 1:17! Luna is very sweet, and it must cost a pretty ruble to keep these cats in food!

Would you like to be awakened in this way? No need for a shower!

Luna has her own YouTube page with 12 regular videos and 6 “shorts”.


This Facebook page is about official naval cats, of which there were many (I’ve featured some before).  The U.S. Naval Institute has a comprehensive page about “Cats in the Sea Services,” but today we feature Herman from the FB page:

We’ve heard endlessly about military dogs, but what about their smaller four-legged companions, cats? Surprisingly enough, cats played a significant role on Navy and Coast Guard ships at one point in time. Andy Mitchell’s Inside the Mind of a Cat Netflix documentary highlights this point about our feline Navy cats. Specifically, it tells us about the U.S. Coast Guard “Expert Mouser” Herman the cat.

Here’s a trailer for the movie, which you’ll have to pay to watch (I haven’t):

More from the FB page:

Herman the Cat, Expert Mouser
As per Mitchell’s Netflix original, this practice long superseded Herman’s reign. According to Dr. Eva Maria Geigl, Paleogeneticist featured in the documentary, “Ships are probably the predominant means of spreading of the cat.” She would state, “With humans, the rodents went on the ships and the cats followed. So, there was not a single ship, probably, that went out of the port without cats.”

As surprising as it sounds, yes. In fact, British Navy ships all sailed with a cat on board until the 1970s.

In 1943, Herman the cat would officially be commissioned by the military as an “Expert Mouser.” His primary duty was to control and extirpate the rodent population aboard the vessel.

Herman officially became a member of the U.S. Armed Forces at eight months old. Just like any other Coast Guardsman, Herman was issued an identification card for his hometown in Baltimore on January 12. His ID was as legit as anyone else’s, having a formal serial number of 05225058 authenticated by pertinent officials.

So, what exactly was Herman’s job as an Expert Mouser? Well, the Maryland feline had unrestricted access to the port waterfront no matter the time of day. His job? Hunt every mouse, rat, and rodent aboard the ship to his complete satisfaction. Herman wouldn’t be the first cat to play such a role on a boat.

Here’s a video of Herman (spelled “Hermen”) in action and getting his ID card made:

Herman’s ID—note the pawprint. Height: 15 inches; weight 11 pounds (he was a big one!):


Finally, a tabby going nuts with a jar of “Cat Crack®” catnip.


Lagniappe: A meme from Merilee; the many expressions of a moggy:

h/t: Williams, Merilee

6 thoughts on “Caturday felid: Pet cougars and panthers try to wake owners; Loyal Sea Cat Herman; cat goes nuts on ‘nip; and lagniappe

  1. There’s way more than 60 and 12 videos of Messi and Luna—they usually release at least a couple a week. Things must have gotten tough for their humans these days, as they can’t get monetization from YouTube in Russia—looks like YouTube was their main income stream, and, as you said, keeping these guys is not cheap. There’s a video where they pretty much had a mobile vet hospital to come over with a bunch of equipment and all to do a procedure on Messi (a video of Messi waking up from anesthesia is really cute).

    BTW, Messi’s household also has a cheetah called Gerda:

  2. Luna really does look like a melanistic cougar, to me. I live in the US southeast and there are occasional reports of black cougars seen, as well as tawny cougars. Wildlife officials always say no to both color variants, and there was one fb page that forbid any discussion of cougars. I can’t seem to find that page now. I don’t have a fixed opinion about it.

  3. I miss having a cat after today’s caturday. Gotta take “Aussie” dog downstairs now.

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