The Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, with over 900 large rooms, holds the largest art collection in the world. To manage all that are 70 furry employees, cats, who patrol the damp and dark basement areas to combat rodents. It is a very effective solution and the state employs a staff and a vet to care for the “guard cats.”
The Hermitage accepts strays from any source as in the past couple of years they’ve entered into an agreement to provide cats to the Russian National Library and several small museums around St P. In addition to the staff who groom and feed, the Hermitage employs a vet who is paid 6 hours daily each weekday to provide supervision and medical care to the Hermitage felines.
If you make friends with a Hermitage cat while on the grounds it is okay to take him/her home if you’ll provide a loving environment. Just let a member of the cat staff know of your intention and complete an application first.