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Politics in "Meow" Style

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Photo: Cats of Famous Politicians, Source: Collage The Gaze
Photo: Cats of Famous Politicians, Source: Collage The Gaze

Cats can purr, catch mice, knock various objects off tables, bask on warm windowsills, stare at one point for hours, and rub against their owners' legs demanding tasty food. They are also indispensable assistants in fierce political battles, both within a country and on the international stage.

From the Barn to the White House


Photo: Willow the cat, Source: Wiki

After the death of India, George W. Bush Jr.'s cat and the White House's own mouse hunter, there was no feline resident for over 10 years. Understanding the prevalence of cat lovers in America, Joe Biden promised before the 2021 elections that if he won, his family would adopt a stray cat, in addition to their dogs. This promise was fulfilled by his wife, Jill Biden, who met an barn cat from a Pennsylvania farmer during the campaign. Biden later convinced the owner to gift them the cat named Willow. Interestingly, Willow became a resident of the White House not after Biden's election as president but last year when he sent his aggressive dog Major to live with friends in Delaware. With no threats to Willow in the corridors and offices of the White House, she settled in like a true queen. According to Biden, Willow has no restrictions and roams wherever she pleases. For instance, the cat enjoys visiting the presidential bedroom at night and sleeping on her owner's bed.

General's "Daughter"


Photo: President's cat Micka, Source: Instagram

One of the most famous cat enthusiasts in contemporary politics is the former head of the NATO Military Committee and, since March 2023, the President of the Czech Republic, Petr Pavel. Apparently taking a cue from Biden's pre-election move, he decided to play actively to the tune of the purring electorate. His trademark flannel shirt and cat Micka (with whom Pavel regularly shares "cozy" photos on his Instagram), along with support for Ukraine in its struggle against Russia, helped the general win the presidential election, according to many political experts. Interestingly, Micka, with her tortoiseshell color, isn't a pedigreed cat with numerous show awards. In 2012, she was found in semi-frozen condition in a snowdrift by Bob, Pavel's family dog. Due to frostbite, the cat lost part of her tail. However, Petr Pavel grew very fond of her and even took her on trips when he was pursuing a military career.

Guardian of State Secrets


Photo: Kyrylo Budanov's Top Secret cat Gunter, Source: Youtube

Cats and war, an extension of politics through forceful means, are not incompatible. For example, in Ukraine, soldiers of the Armed Forces are often affectionately referred to as "our kitties" by the people. Furthermore, real cats are helping defend the country, such as the black-and-white fluff Gunter, who lives in the reception room of Ukraine's chief intelligence officer, Kyrylo Budanov. Gunter is a real combat cat. Born on the territory of the Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) of the Ministry of Defense, he has access to all offices, making him exceptionally knowledgeable about state secrets. Gunter once even experienced a powerful missile strike along with the entire intelligence staff.

The Same Cat from the Cover


Photo: Ukrainian cat Stepan, Source: Instagram

Who hasn't heard of the Ukrainian cat Stepan? Since the beginning of the pandemic, he captured the hearts of millions of people worldwide, demonstrating his epic, unflappable character. Photos with the cat were reposted by Britney Spears, Hailey Bieber, and Diane Kruger, and during the peak of Stepan's popularity, Hollywood stars envied him. However, on February 24, 2022, the city of Kharkiv, where he lived with his owner Hanna, began to be shelled daily by Russian occupiers. For some time, Hanna and Stepan took refuge in a bomb shelter, and later they were evacuated first to Poland and then to France. However, Stepan did not forget his homeland. He became an ambassador for the state project "Preserve Ukrainian Culture" (in case you don't know, the Russians are committing cultural genocide against Ukrainians, destroying their monuments, museums, ancient churches, etc.). Stepan also raised $10,000 to support zoos and shelters for animals suffering from the war and even made it to the cover of Times Monaco.

Drunk Siberian Hoodlum Cat


Photo: Kremlin's war criminals cat Dorofey, Source: Justjared.com

Since we've mentioned Russian crimes in Ukraine, let's recall the most famous Russian political cat of recent years – Dorofey. This Neva Masquerade cat, a breed known for its high value and rarity, belonged to Dmitry Medvedev when he was the puppet president of Putin. Similar to his owner – who attacked peaceful Georgia during his rule and now (while having vodka for breakfast, lunch, and dinner) threatens the Western world with nuclear war – Dorofey also behaved like a drunken hoodlum. For instance, in a well-known incident: once, without any apparent reason, Dorofey attacked the cat of the former leader of the USSR, Mikhail Gorbachev. In response, he received such a powerful counterattack from his opponent that he had to be treated with antibiotics for a month, and, on top of that, he was also neutered. However, the most interesting fact about Dorofey is the date of his death. It is known that both Medvedev's cat and Putin's dog (the one he used to intimidate Angela Merkel) died in 2014 when Russia, after annexing Crimea, began its war against Ukraine, which continues to this day. What can we say: poor animals simply couldn't bear the shame of their owners, who did their utmost to unleash the bloodiest conflict in Europe since World War II.

A Cat That Walks Alone


Photo: Nameless cat from Erdogan's Telegram channel, Source: Telegram

There is a country in the world where the number of stray cats is simply off the charts – Turkey (for example, it became the first country to install automatic feeding stations for street animals). It hasn't been reported whether President Erdogan has a domestic cat. Still, it's interesting that when he decided to create a Telegram account in 2021, he first posted a photo of himself with a presumably stray fluffy cat in the background. Perhaps this was a hint that the Turkish leader is like a cat that walks alone. If he wants to, he delivers Bayraktar drones to Ukraine; if he wants to, he goes to Sochi to meet the unpredictable Putin; if he wants to, he threatens the Western world with military support for Hamas, and so on.

Robo-Cat – Ambassador of Anime


Photo: Doraemon, cat from the future, Source: Gettyimages

Japan also has many street cats, and there is a wildly popular media franchise about a blue earless robot cat called Doraemon, who arrived from the 22nd century to help the lazy boy Nobita Nobi. Starting with the release of the first manga in 1969, Doraemon has won a multimillion-strong fan base (mostly in Asia) and has become a true symbol of Japanese pop culture. It's not surprising that in 2008, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country appointed Doraemon as the first anime ambassador in history. Cats – whether living or drawn, real or robotic, modern or from the future – are always excellent instruments for establishing friendly international relations."

Taiwanese Cat Woman


Photo: Ah Tsai cat, Source: Wiki

Tsai Ing-wen has been serving as the President of the Republic of China (Taiwan) since 2016. She made history as the first woman to lead Taiwan, and her gray-striped cat, Think Think, and red-striped cat, Ah Tsai, played a role in her success. During the election campaign, Tsai Ing-wen regularly shared photos of her cats, as they garnered much more attention than her thoughts on serious political issues and received 50% more likes on average. The press started referring to Tsai Ing-wen as the cat woman, capable of handling any man who crosses her path. However, there were critics who attempted to mock the politician, suggesting that a single woman living with cats must be emotionally unstable and therefore unfit to lead a country. Nevertheless, there is a cat culture in Taiwan. For instance, the first cat café opened in Taipei in 1998, a concept that later spread to Japan and became popular worldwide. Tsai Ing-wen knew what Taiwanese voters loved, and that's why she easily won the presidential race.

Polish Cat Reforms


Photo: Jaroslaw Kaczyński reading an atlas of cats, Source: Racurs.ua

One of the most influential Polish politicians in recent years, the leader of the Law and Justice party (Prawo i Sprawiedliwość), Jarosław Kaczyński, is quite involved in cat matters. He himself has a cat named Fiona and a cat named Charush. However, it seems that for the patriarch of Polish politics, two domestic animals are not enough. For example, in 2017, he was photographed in the Sejm, where instead of participating in heated debates on controversial judicial reforms, he sat at the session and browsed... an atlas of cats. In 2016, when an outraged crowd gathered at his house to protest for judicial freedom, Kaczyński didn't come out to the people but released his cat, which sat on the windowsill, cooling off for his master throughout the entire demonstration. Interestingly, the same "Atlas of Cats" (with Kaczyński's autograph, of course) was soon sold at an auction for 25,000 zlotys, which went to support the Krakow Animal Protection Society.

Indecisive Cat Nicknamed Brexit


Photo: Brexit cat, Source: Imgur.com

Before its departure from the European Union in 2020, the United Kingdom went through a lot of doubts, public discussions, trials, votes, accepted and rejected decisions, civic petitions, and more. Observing this, French politician and Member of the European Parliament Nathalie Loiseau decided to name her cat Brexit, noting similarities between him and the British. She described her pet as follows: "He wakes me up every morning meowing to death because he wants to go out, and then when I open the door he stays put, undecided, and then glares at me when I put him out." The quote spread through the world press, sparking discussions on social media – but then Loiseau admitted that she was joking. As it turned out, she doesn't have a cat at all.

Watcher of Prime Ministers


Photo: Larry from Downing Street 10, Source: Wiki

Many people think that MI6 agents are responsible for the secret security of the United Kingdom. However, the real James Bond, standing guard over the empire day and night, doesn't wear a suit and an expensive watch. Instead, he has a gray-and-white striped coat, a pink nose, and luxurious mustaches. Larry – that's the name of the cat who holds the official title of Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office. Settling in 10 Downing Street in 2011, this former stray cat is not anyone's private property but an independent government official. He has witnessed the work of Prime Ministers David Cameron, Theresa May, Boris Johnson, and Liz Truss, and now keeps an eye on how Rishi Sunak performs his duties. Larry's tasks include welcoming house guests, monitoring security measures, checking antique furniture for sleep quality, and, of course, solving the problem of mice infestation in the house.

If you enjoyed this article, you may find interesting The Gaze publication, dedicated to the dogs of famous politicians.

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