'My cat is safe,' Medvedev assures Russia
Social media users in Russia created fake Twitter accounts for Dorofey, the supposedly missing cat, to poke fun at the lame duck president's politics.
Wed, Mar 28, 2012 at 01:57 PM
NEVER ESCAPED: A picture taken in 2009 shows Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's cat, Dorofey. (Photo: Mikhail Klimentyev/AFP)
MOSCOW — Setting aside fears of a new arms race with the United States or the conflict in Syria, President Dmitry Medvedev took to Twitter on March 28 to reassure Russia about another burning issue — the well-being of his cat.
Presidential pet Dorofey had not — contrary to press reports and frenzied Internet speculation — gone missing.
"It has become known from sources close to Dorofey that he didn't disappear. Thank you for your concern, everyone," tweeted Medvedev.
Russian social media users have been having a field day speculating about the cat's alleged escape, with at least two Twitter accounts created in Dorofey's name to post updates of his whereabouts and his decision to join the nascent protest movement.
"I am tired of politics! I want family and kids!" one Dorofey impersonator @Dorofey_Kot tweeted.
The cat's name — derived from Greek Dorotheos, or the 'gift of God' — soared to global Twitter trends as bloggers joked that the animal had fled ahead of his owner's departure from the Kremlin in May.
"The story of Dorofey's disappearance is rubbish, just as the story of the attempt on Putin's life," wrote popular blogger @davidmsk, referring to a reported pre-election plot against the famous Russian leader, Prime Minister and President-elect Vladimir Putin.
"It's meant to bring out human feelings toward the country's leaders," he added.
The initial publication of the cat's disappearance on March 28 in Sobesednik weekly newspaper alleged that police in the Moscow region of Odintsovo, where the presidential residence Gorki is located, had left their duties to search for Dorofey.
Police denied the report.
Medvedev's cat moved to Gorki with its owner in 2008. Russian media say it is a Siberian breed and was picked out by first lady Svetlana Medvedeva.
The outgoing president has been the target of merciless mockery by Russia's growing blogging community since Putin's election victory left him a lame duck head of state.
Copyright 2012 AFP Global Edition