In a heartwarming gesture, a cat rescued from a garbage plant in Russia has earned an official title after it rose to fame as a social media star.
After the black and white cat survived a harrowing close call at a waste sorting complex Gorkomhoz LLC for Municipial Solid Waste processing in Ulyanovsk, thanks to the alertness of one staff, the feline has now been given an honorary post in the Ministry of Natural Resources from the region. The feline has been named an assistant to the regional environment minister, Moscow Times reported.
In a statement the administration said the minister, Gulnara Rakhmatulina, came up with an initiative to take the cat to the department, and the ministry, and all employees will be responsible for him.
“From now on the unofficial position of the deputy minister of nature and the cyclic economy of the region for the protection of fauna was introduced into the structure of the department,” the press release said.
“I want to appeal to pet owners: remember that you are responsible for those you have tamed,” Rakhmatulina was quoted in the release as saying. “If you can’t keep your pet at home, you can always leave it in good hands or at a shelter.”
Surveillance footage from the plant in Ulyanovsk, a city located around 700 km southeast of Moscow, showed worker Mikhail Tukash, scooping up a white plastic bag from a conveyor belt moments before it would reach the shredder claws. He then slashed it open to discover a feline inside.
“I felt something soft inside the bag,” Tukash told the local paper Moskovsky Komsomolets. “I cut the bag open slightly and I saw eyes looking back at me.” The 36-year-old sorter recalled that surprisingly the cat didn’t make any noise or move inside the bag. When he took the cat out of the bag it looked “well-groomed and clean, clearly not homeless”.
Кота в завязанном мешке обнаружили на мусоросортировочном комплексе по обработке ТКО в Ульяновске. Он мог бы попасть в сепаратор, если бы не бдительность одного из работников.
Видео: vk/gorkomhoz73 pic.twitter.com/HO2ExUJpEn
— ТАСС (@tass_agency) December 22, 2020
According to RIA Novosti, the environment ministry said it awarded the waste processing employee and its director with letters of appreciation for their rescue effort. It also mentioned that it was not the first time an innocent animal was saved at the plant. The company has already saved an African hedgehog and two red-eared turtles from death during sorting.
The ministry has now announced a nationwide contest to choose a name for the cat, which it said was found to be in good health after a vet examined him. Photos and videos of the cat napping in a government official’s chair and playing around office desks are now keep people hooked on the ministry’s page on Russian social media site VKontakte.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines