Meet Syoma, the fearless, who plays cat and mouse....with a fox.
Get away from me land! Syoma the cat with his most unusual play mate. Picture: Sergei Krasnoschekov
His day job is to keep the mice at bay in houses at an entry post to the magnificent Kronotsky Nature Reserve in the volcanic Kamchatka peninsula, in the extreme east of Russia.
Locals say Syoma does it well.
Beware the cat - Syoma walks Kronotsky Nature Reserve in the volcanic Kamchatka peninsula. Picture: Sergei Krasnoschekov
After the arduous work, it's time to play. In Syoma's case, this is with someone a little bigger than him.
A-a-are you ready to play? The fox is seen approaching the cat. Pictures: Sergei Krasnoschekov
Syoma is a cat with character, and I learned it from the first few seconds of our acquaintance. My attempt to pat the animal ended with him hissing, scratching and biting.
Of course, he tolerated me after that - it was only for show.
Once, as a kitten, young Syoma was almost stolen and carried away in the claws of some white night bird. The truth is that that time nothing bad happened and the cat came back slightly injured, but safe and sound.
Now, a year older, Syoma has made friends with some of the locals, including this fox who regularly appears to play with the cat.
Easy, easy... at some point it is not clear whether animals are about to start playing - or fighing. Picture: Sergei Krasnoschekov
Syoma seriously tries to defend his territory.
The fox in my opinion, is just teasing the cat, making him play and run.
Chase you! Russian photographer captures unique moments of cat and fox playing. Pictures: Sergei Krasnoschekov
Yet both seem to be having fun, and this does not appear to be an all-out territorial battle.
There is no question of Syoma being intimidated.
The fox flirts and comes closer to the cat, and Syoma with a serious face tries to drive the fox away.
But then they run round and round the post on the edge of the nature reserve each happily pursuing their own goals.
For the cat it's a good warm-up before going to bed. After such exercises he has a very deep and long sleep.
I gonna get you! The fox is happy to be chased. Pictures: Sergei Krasnoschekov
Kronotsky Nature Reserve, Kamchatka is one of Russia's oldest wildlife reserves, founded under Stalin in 1934.
With it's harsh climate and volcanoes and geysers, it is described as the Land of Fire and Ice.
Lake Kronotsky is the largest in Kamchatka, with the 3528 metre Kronotsky Volcano towering above it.
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