Messi is a Puma that, believe it or not, lives in a one-bedroom apartment with his owners in Russia. While you can often find large cats in zoos and sanctuaries, it’s very unusual for a wild animal of this size to be living in a small apartment.
In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised to learn that this puma is the only puma chilling out day to day in an apartment. One has to wonder how it came about that the large cat came to live there at all.
Here’s how it happened…
Messi didn’t start life as a ‘pet.’ He was actually born in a zoo. While there, he lived in a small enclosure and became very malnourished and suffered from muscle weakness, rickets, degenerative bone disease, and urinary tract infections.
The puma was obviously not thriving at the zoo so officials tried to locate a sanctuary for the cat. They had no luck finding a sanctuary and could not release it into the wild because pumas are not native to Russia. Out of options, they began to make plans to euthanize the cat.
Meanwhile, a couple by the name of Aleksandr and Mariya Dmitriev heard about the sickly puma and set about to learn all they could about the care and maintenance of the animal. They talked to puma breeders and read a lot before approaching the zoo to request that they be allowed to adopt the cat.
Much to their surprise, the zoo agreed and soon Messi was living with them. However, the cat was not healthy and could barely walk. The couple began nursing the cub back to health and gave him lots of supplements.
Amazingly, the sick cat grew stronger and stronger and was soon walking miles. He also began to outgrow the apartment where he used the bathtub as a litter box. But no worries, his family moved into a house with plenty of room for Messi.
Today, Messi is a healthy, happy, playful cat that loves his balls and to run around his yard. He even loves to play with pumpkins, watermelons, and plastic bottles. Thanks to his adoptive family, he is living his best life.
Somewhere between wild animal and family pet, Messi is something special for sure. It’s amazing to watch him walk on his leash and act like a giant domestic house cat. All this came with a lot of hard work, the cat even went to dog training school and learned basic commands.
Not everyone is a fan of Messi’s captivity but the cat was certainly given a second chance at life and loves his adoptive family, who take great care of him. Without them, he wouldn’t be alive today and he’s thriving now.
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