Meet Messi, The Rescued Puma That Lives As A Spoiled House Cat In Russia

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Meet Messi, The 90lb puma that lives with their loving owners Mariya and Aleksandr Dmitriev in Russia.

Meet Messi, The Rescued Puma That Lives As A Spoiled House Cat In Russia

Meet Messi, The 90lb puma that lives with their loving owners Mariya and Aleksandr Dmitriev in Russia.


The couple met Messi at the Saransk Zoo in Penza, Russia when he was only eight years old, and decided that they wanted Messi a part of their lives and had to have him.


Messi was one of three puma cubs that were born at the zoo.


They were all named after popular soccer players to celebrate the Russian city hosting four of the matching from the World Cup. The other two cubs were named Suarez and Neymar.


Messi was sold to the zoo when he was only three months old. He was then suffering from health problems.


With the zoo unable to fully take care of the sick cub, and the couple falling in love with him, the Dmitriev’s pleaded to the zoo and asked whether they could buy him.


According to Mariya, Aleksandr, 38 years old, always dreamed of owning a larger than life feline, “He always thought about having a lynx – never a puma. It’s hard to explain, but we believe that having this puma is part of our destiny.”


Taking care of a big cat like Messi is not like taking care of any other house pet, and was a challenge for the couple in many ways.


Although the couple managed to nurse the cub back to full health, he just grew to about two-thirds of the size of the average puma.


And just like any other pet, Messi, requires lots and lots of exercise.


To help with this, his parents bought him a special harness and coat to take him on walks.


Unlike simply training your dog to obey commands and do a few tricks, though, this lovable puma wasn't the easiest to train.


The couple tried their best to find a wild animal handler to help train Messi but they were unsuccessful.


They finally managed to find a dog training school the would allow Messi to join.


Now Messi can respond to about ten different commands.


Messi has more than 500k followers on his Instagram @I_am_puma and more than 175k subscribers on his Youtube channel.


Living in a one bedroom apartment with Messi can be challenging, but the pair has done their best to accommodate their adorable large companion.


They even converted their hallway into “Messi’s den”, with a tree, hiding hole, and bamboo wall.


As you would imagine there've been some animal and environmental rights activists that have objections to the Dmitrievs keeping this exotic animal in their home.


Many of those activists believe Messi belongs on a wildlife reserve or in a sanctuary.


Meet Messi, The Rescued Puma That Lives As A Spoiled House Cat In Russia

Meet Messi, The Rescued Puma That Lives As A Spoiled House Cat In Russia

Meet Messi, The Rescued Puma That Lives As A Spoiled House Cat In Russia

Meet Messi, The Rescued Puma That Lives As A Spoiled House Cat In Russia

Meet Messi, The Rescued Puma That Lives As A Spoiled House Cat In Russia

Meet Messi, The Rescued Puma That Lives As A Spoiled House Cat In Russia

Meet Messi, The Rescued Puma That Lives As A Spoiled House Cat In Russia

Meet Messi, The Rescued Puma That Lives As A Spoiled House Cat In Russia

Meet Messi, The Rescued Puma That Lives As A Spoiled House Cat In Russia

Meet Messi, The Rescued Puma That Lives As A Spoiled House Cat In Russia

Meet Messi, The Rescued Puma That Lives As A Spoiled House Cat In Russia

Meet Messi, The Rescued Puma That Lives As A Spoiled House Cat In Russia

Meet Messi, The Rescued Puma That Lives As A Spoiled House Cat In Russia

Meet Messi, The Rescued Puma That Lives As A Spoiled House Cat In Russia

Meet Messi, The Rescued Puma That Lives As A Spoiled House Cat In Russia

Meet Messi, The Rescued Puma That Lives As A Spoiled House Cat In Russia

Meet Messi, The Rescued Puma That Lives As A Spoiled House Cat In Russia

Meet Messi, The Rescued Puma That Lives As A Spoiled House Cat In Russia

Whilst others like to point out the clear dangers living with a wild animal can put you in.


But the couple believes that he wouldn’t survive in the wild or alongside other animals as he has never lived alone in the wild and been with the couple since he was a cub.


Watch Messi playing around with his favorite toys:



Image credits: l_am_puma

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Thinking Humanity: Meet Messi, The Rescued Puma That Lives As A Spoiled House Cat In Russia
Meet Messi, The Rescued Puma That Lives As A Spoiled House Cat In Russia
Meet Messi, The 90lb puma that lives with their loving owners Mariya and Aleksandr Dmitriev in Russia.
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