Meet Messi, a calm and easygoing feline who stands out from your average cat. What sets Messi apart is that he happens to be a puma. This unique creature was given his name in honor of the renowned soccer player. Back in 2016, Messi was rescued by Aleksandr and Mariya Dmitriev from a petting zoo located in Penza, Russia.
During his time at the zoo, Messi faced various health challenges when he was just three months old. Unfortunately, due to the fact that pumas are not indigenous to Russia, it was not feasible to release Messi into the wild. Moreover, his health issues made it impossible for him to be relocated to another zoo or animal sanctuary. As a result, the institution had originally planned to euthanize him.
Aleksandr and Mariya instantly fell in love with Messi the moment they laid eyes on him at the zoo. The connection was undeniable, prompting the couple to make a life-changing decision – they had to bring this young puma home with them. After collaborating with the zoo authorities, their wish became a reality. Upon welcoming Messi into their abode, they embarked on a dedicated journey to nurse him back to vitality. Although weak and requiring a substantial amount of care initially, Messi triumphed over his ailments and emerged healthier than ever. Today, as a fully-grown puma, Messi stands smaller in size compared to his peers, with two-thirds of their average magnitude.
At his residence, Messi displays a unique blend of canine and feline behavior. Much like a playful puppy, he thrives on regular exercise, prompting Aleksandr and Mariya to take him on two daily walks. In addition, they diligently attend training sessions multiple times a week, allowing Messi to acquire an impressive repertoire of 10 commands. However, when he’s unwinding within the confines of his home, he derives great pleasure from crawling into boxes, indulging in scratching sessions on his post, and lounging around with his beloved human companions. This domesticated puma also relishes receiving affectionate strokes and engages in playful interactions with his caretakers, skillfully refraining from using his formidable claws.
Over the years, Messi has garnered a considerable following, propelling him to the status of an internet sensation. With more than one million followers on his Instagram account and a thriving YouTube channel, he has captured the hearts of countless admirers. Scroll down for a delightful glimpse of Messi’s enchanting photos, and don’t forget to hit that follow button on Instagram for an exclusive peek into his captivating world. Excitingly, it appears that Messi will soon be joined by Ichel, a cheetah that Aleksandr and Mariya heroically rescued at the outset of 2020.
Messi, a remarkable puma, encountered a stroke of fate in 2016 when Aleksandr and Mariya Dmitriev intervened to save him from an uncertain future. Following a decision by the zoo authorities that deemed it unsuitable for Messi to reside there or in the wild, this compassionate couple opened their hearts and home to provide him a loving sanctuary.
They lovingly cared for the gentle being until he regained his well-being, and now he is a cherished member of their joyous household.
Aleksandr and Mariya frequently upload numerous videos providing an in-depth glimpse into their experiences with Messi.