Photos: mostly of ball-jointed Asian dolls (some not quite safe for work), cats, plants; occasionally art; and local Chicagoland scenery. Comments are moderated so they will take a bit to show up.
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Hermitage Museum Cats
So the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg has cats to protect the collection--I found the link to the Wikipedia article by accident, and then found the website where you (if you live in Russia, and preferably close to the Hermitage) can adopt one of their cats. Here is the website. Since I can only read Russian if I sit and laboriously translate over letter by letter from the cyrillic, I opted for Google to (hilariously) translate the little article there:
Meow for special purposes
They are an invisible guard guarding our cultural heritage. Supernumerary employees of the State Hermitage, vigilantly watching the fact that the Winter Palace is not occupied by hordes of rats.
According to legend, the first cat here brought himself Peter I, and later Elizaveta Petrovna even issued a "decree of expulsion to the court of cats" from Kazan. The status of the "guards of art galleries" was granted to them by Catherine II.
The years of the blockade became the only ones when the Hermitage was left without its mustachioed guardians. They say that after the war, cats were brought into the city by whole carriages, some of them went to the service in the Winter Palace. Since then, the Hermitage cats day and night to cherish the treasures of the nation, becoming one of the most popular urban legends.
The trouble is that the museum does not need such a large quadruple army. And his ranks continue to be replenished: cats and cats now and then throw up on the territory of the complex. Distorted from their lives, ruthlessly thrown from their favorite seats, cheated. But we give them a chance to find a real House, find their own Man!
See the gallery, write to us, call, come, meet! Maybe they are waiting for you?
(page includes very cute cat face)
Here's a more English-readable article on the cats:
The cats have their own little hospital and food prep area, and in return keep the mice from nibbling the treasures. I am sure that occasionally they do "throw up on the territory of the complex" in the English vernacular sense, but that's cats for you. :D If you go visit the Hermitage there may be a box where you can donate for their care, too.