When a worker at a Russian waste-sorting facility rescued a cat from imminent death, he could not have imagined that the pet would, after the accident, obtain an honorary title and sit in the chair of a senior government official.
On Monday, a video clip captured by surveillance cameras in a factory in Ulyanovsk, about 700 kilometers southeast of Moscow, showed worker Mikhail Tokash picking up a plastic bag from a moving belt and opening it to discover a male cat inside.
“I felt something soft inside the bag … and when I tore it to open it, I saw from inside it two eyes looking at me,” Tokasch, who was honored by the local authorities, told a popular newspaper.
The cat became famous after the accident, and the Ministry of Environment of the Ulyanovsk region adopted him and unofficially granted him the position of Deputy Minister of Environment.
“The cat was on the brink of perdition,” the ministry said on Wednesday. “It only had a short time before it ended up in the waste separation unit.”
Pictures from the ministry showed the cat lying in a wheelchair in Minister Gulnara Rakhmtolina’s office and exploring his new home.
The ministry announced a nationwide competition to choose a name for the cat, which it says was in good health after being examined by a vet after being found.