1. A cat, detained for smuggling drugs into a Russian prison, escaped from behind bars. The cat was being held for evidence, after prosecutors claimed that he was trained by prisoners as a feline ferry, bringing them narcotics in a secret compartment in his collar. The defense attorneys thought that would be a task akin to herding cats; since when have the animals done what humans request? Now we will never know; keepers let the cat out of the cage due to cold weather, and he was being chased off by dogs. If cats have nine lives, then this one must have had some prison-breaking bad prior ones.
2. It was the time of the worst of cats, but also the best of cats. The deaf Oracle Achilles, one of the Hermitage Cats, became famous for predicting outcomes in the 2018 World Cup by choosing food bowls marked with a particular country’s flag. The kitten of this prophetic palace cat (who is also a successful therapist, and Instagram model) was sold at an auction to raise funds for homeless animals at the World of Cats expo in St. Petersburg. The father was an honored guest at the event – but then, that is pretty predictable.
3. A Russian inventor thinks he has found the key to success: a winter wrench (literally: “bolt key”). The Russian patent office named the heated hand tool the strangest patent application of the year, but unusual can be useful. The head of the department apparently warmed to the idea: “Anyone who has encountered the necessity of screwing or unscrewing some sort of bolt in -40º weather can value the unusual nature of such a wrench.” Best of all, it is bright red, so when you drop it in the snow you can see two-thirds of the Russian flag, and more importantly, find your wrench. Such a situation is at least as quintessentially Russian as whatever problems all the other innovations – mostly for farming, electronics, medicine, and oil and gas – are intended to solve.
Spookily similar, even in mannerisms… this is no Halloween costume. Mash | Youtube
Want more where this comes from? Give your inbox the gift of TWERF, our Thursday newsletter on the quirkiest, obscurest, and Russianest of Russian happenings of the week.
Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.
PO Box 567
Montpelier VT 05601-0567