Tuesday, Apr 24 2018
All Cities
Choose Your City
'The possession of Siberia's natural wealth has become vital in determining Russia’s position in the world'
W.Bruce Lincoln

Siberian farmer's cats become an unexpected Internet sensation

By Anna Liesowska
13 March 2015

Alla loves nothing more than taking pictures of her beloved pets – and it seems the world can't get enough of them either.

Alla's hobby is taking photographs of her pets, which have a distinctive look, perhaps as a result of their in-breeding. Picture: Alla Lebedeva

Siberian farmer Alla Lebedeva loves seeing pictures of her pet cats, but it seems the world does too.

Unbeknown to her, photographs she has taken of her litter have been reproduced on social media websites with some turned into humorous jokes.

'A couple of years ago I noticed that my pictures had gone viral,' said Alla. 'At first I spotted my photos on some website about Norwegian cats - they used my pics twice, without any credit – and now they are going around the world as ‘Norwegian cats’.'

Alla Lebedeva's cats


Alla Lebedeva's cats


Alla Lebedeva's cats


Alla Lebedeva's cats

They have raised cats for more than a decade, with their first pet, Babushka, becoming the ancestress for the rest of the ever-growing litter. Pictures: Alla Lebedeva

Alla lives with her husband Sergey on a farm in the settlement of Prigorodny, on the outskirts of Barnaul in western Siberia.

They have raised cats for more than a decade, with their first pet, Babushka, becoming the ancestress for the rest of the ever-growing litter. She gave birth to five ginger kittens in 2004 and now the couple’s home is overrun with their furry friends.

Even Alla, 59, herself jokes that they live in a Koshlandia (land of cats). She said: 'How many do we have now? To such a question I usually answer ‘a million, maybe more’.

'They live in the henhouse, and sleep on the polati, and they have three 'little bedrooms' there where can they sleep according to how they feel. Our cats protect the chickens and rabbits from rats and mice.'

Alla Lebedeva's cats


Alla Lebedeva's cats


Alla Lebedeva's cats


Alla Lebedeva's cats

'All our animals seem to live in peace and they have rather good relations with our dog Rikki, the chickens and even with the cockerels.' Pictures: Alla Lebedeva

Her hobby is taking photographs of her pets, which have a distinctive look, perhaps as a result of their in-breeding. But it is clear the world also loves nothing more than seeing her animals, with many of the images doctored and used in an unusual way on the Internet.

Some show them wearing Russian hats, others have been mocked up to look like characters from the TV series Game of Thrones, and one was even used to joke about dieting.

Another photograph was commandeered by the Norwegian Forest Cats online community, with some people assuming the long-haired cats are from Norway, rather than Siberia.

Alla said the cats are divided into two groups with one that goes hunting and does not come home for months in summer, and the other that stays close to home.

She said: 'Our cats move about freely. In general, all rustic cats are unusual and differ from cats living in apartments, just like a rabbit differs from a hare. They are wild and independent.

Alla Lebedeva's cats


Alla Lebedeva's cats


Alla Lebedeva's cats


Alla Lebedeva's cats

A couple of years ago I noticed that my pictures had gone viral,' said Alla. 'At first I spotted my photos on some website about Norwegian cats - they used my pics twice, without any credit – and now they are going around the world as ‘Norwegian cats’.' Pictures: Alla Lebedeva, reddit.com

'In the summer our cats divide into two groups. Some of them go hunting somewhere and don't come home for months, among them Ryzhik, Rych and Ludwig.

'Pukh, Lapych and Tema stay home and don’t go far away. All the female cats are always neat and sit at home. Here we have also noticed that they have their own hierarchy. Pukh is a kind of alpha male, an emperor. His deputy is Lapych, while Tema is just very calm.'

She added: 'They recognise me as the head of their 'pride', and they all obey me. Among the other family members, they have good relations with my granddaughter, Maria, and allow her to hold them. Her favourite cat is Nochka. 

'All our animals seem to live in peace and they have rather good relations with our dog Rikki, the chickens and even with the cockerels.'

Alla and Sergey have three sons: architects Dmitry, who lives in Barnaul, and Alexander, who moved to Norilsk, and Ivan, who is an artist and designer currently living in Moscow.

'Our cats move about freely. In general, all rustic cats are unusual and differ from cats living in apartments, just like a rabbit differs from a hare. They are wild and independent.' Pictures: Alla Lebedeva

Alla Lebedeva's cats


Alla Lebedeva's cats


Alla Lebedeva's cats


Alla Lebedeva's cats


Alla Lebedeva's cats

Alla Lebedeva's cats

Alla Lebedeva's cats

Alla Lebedeva's cats

Comments (26)

I'll not be greedy, but can I have one? Photographs are again truly brilliant & them cats seem to be so laid back they look as if they haven't a cat care in the world. & it's true, they haven't.
Jaker, Dundalk
30/03/2015 22:50
6
0
I love cats as much as Russia. I have never seen such beautiful animals and natural at the same time. Fotograf is excellent. I congratulate you. I have 5 kittens at home in Mendoza, Argentina.
Marcela Viviana Gatica, Argentina
19/03/2015 02:43
7
0
They could make a 24h TV Channel with cats.
Enrique, Spain
19/03/2015 02:00
8
0
Beautiful cats (and one dog!). Great photos and loved the article. Thanks for sharing. :)
Rob, Canberra, Australia
18/03/2015 09:02
7
0
I love the photos. I had seen some of them at Norwegian Forest Cats sites. But now I know they are Siberian! The internet, and the world, is truly made of cats.
Wanda, Rochester, New York
17/03/2015 21:26
8
0
THEY ARE VERY BEAUTIFUL INDEED, ; I THINK IT'S TIME TO GET THEM STERILIZED, BEFORE THE *INBREEDING* PRODUCES, VERY BAD IMPERFECTIONS & MUTATIONS ! (PLEASE EXCUSE THE CAPS )
MRS. TRISH GEIDEL, ADELAIDE, SOUTH AUSTRALIA
15/03/2015 10:25
16
2
BEAUTIFUL & MAGNIFICENT CREATURES!
siren luster, toronto, canada
15/03/2015 03:31
6
1
In The Netherlands we do not believe in inbreeding because of illnesses. Health should come first! The pictures are beautiful though!
Shona, the netherlands
14/03/2015 16:54
13
4
Very beautiful pictures, thank you for sharing
,
14/03/2015 08:28
10
0
Very very nice (Siberian/norvegian?)cats .I admire their fur, very thick fur for the winter.
Jocelyne, FRANCE
14/03/2015 01:20
9
0
These cats are gorgeous. I'll take a bundle of them any time
sallerup, Madison.Alabama
13/03/2015 21:44
10
0
12

Add your comment

We welcome a healthy debate, but do not accept offensive or abusive comments. Please also read 'Siberian Times' Privacy Policy

Name

Town/Country

Add your comments

The views expressed in the comments above are those of our readers. 'Siberian Times' reserves the right to pre-moderate some comments.

Control code*

Type the code

* obligatory


Features

Business

The Bank of Russia official exchange rates of foreign currencies
EUR75.79USD61.77GBP86.52Other...