Meet the Russian Cat With a $520 Monthly Salary

March 28, 2019
It might sound hard to believe, but there's a cat that has a monthly salary in Russia. Read on to learn more about its story!

Can you imagine your pet making its own money? With the economy like it is, having some extra income is always welcome. That’s all the more reason to find yourself a cat like Bársik. This Russian cat was hired by a construction firm that pays him about 33,000 rubles (something like $520) a month. 

Meet Bársik, the Russian cat with a salaried job

The truth is that the one getting half of that money is the cat’s owner, Vasili Kuchomov.

He sets aside the other half and donates it to organizations to rescue stray animals and shelter them. It’s a really touching way to use the money.

Okay, and that’s all great, but how in the world did this cat get hired by a construction firm called Perm all the way up the Ural Mountains? We’ll give you that answer right now.

Learn about Bársik, the Russian cat that was hired by a construction company and makes the equivalent of $520 a month.

Why did a construction company hire a cat?

A picture of Bársik the cat.

Bársik is a year and a half old and got his job in a contest where he competed with lots of other cats. If you stop and think about it, that’s a pretty good salary. Especially if you keep in mind that the monthly minimum in Russia is 7,500 rubles, or about $112.

According to the contest, they chose Bársik because he’s pretty, intelligent, and affectionate. But what exactly does he do? Apparently, there’s a tradition in Russia that says that when you build a house, the family cat should be the first to go inside.

The idea is that the cat will scare off any evil spirits and bring in happiness. Some people also believe that wherever the cat first lays down to sleep is where the bed should go. 

Although cats are a very popular pet in Russia, not everyone has a cat to fulfill this tradition. So, it has become very common for people to “rent” cats just for this ritual.

A great promotion strategy

Knowing all that, it’s not actually so surprising that the heads of the company would have thought to hire an “official” cat. It’s just another service they can offer to home owners when they don’t have their own cat. Bársik’s job is basically to go into the houses and keep the tradition for new home owners.

Of course, with all the time we spend on social media nowadays, they’ve obviously used it to promote his job too. What they do is post pictures of him alongside photos of the happy owners of the brand-new house they themselves built.

Best of all, Bársik doesn’t have to punch a clock or keep a schedule. He also has his own space in their offices, and a chauffeur comes to pick him up if he’s not already there.

Other Russian cats in the news

Want to know something else that’s pretty weird? Not too long ago, there was another Russian cat named Bársik in the news. 

His story is probably even more well-known, but very different. He was at the head of the polls in the mayoral race in the Siberian town of Barnaul. Tired of the scandals and corruption from their local politicians, people in Barnaul voted for Bársik as a way to show how angry they were with their situation.

And then there was the story about Marai, a stray who ended up becoming the “custodian” for the Museum of History and Art in Serpukhov, about 75 miles south of Moscow.

It’s actually becoming more and more common (and not just in Russia) to see cats featuring in publicity campaigns for the businesses or institutions that decide to “hire them.”

Photo source: Vasili Kuchumov’s blog