Meet Messi, The Rescued Puma


About six months ago I discovered the YouTube channel, I_am_puma, and instantly became a fan.  

As you all know, I'm smitten with cats. And not just small cats, but big cats as well. And I'm talking BIG, as in lions, cheetahs, and tigers. In fact, speaking of tigers, I was at one time a magician's assistant in which the two magicians performed a stage illusion where they put a woman into a cage and transformed her into a tiger. And when the tiger was brought in with its trainer for a rehearsal, I just so happened to be standing directly next to that beautiful creature as it slowly walked past me from the transport truck to the backstage area, which was thrilling because I could actually feel its powerful strength emanating from the tiger's body. And the sound that it made when it roared was like a vibration that came deep from within the earth. 

However, today's post focuses on a precious puma named, Messi.

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Backstory (credit):

Messi was rescued by Aleksandr and Mariya Dmitriev in 2016 after living in a petting zoo in Penza, Russia. At the zoo, Messi suffered health problems at just three months old. The institution decided that because pumas were not native to Russia, it wasn’t possible to release Messi into the wild, and his many health issues prevented him from living in another zoo or animal sanctuary. They had planned to euthanize him.

When Aleksandr and Mariya first saw Messi at the zoo, it was love at first sight. The couple decided they had to take in the young puma and, after working with the zoo, they were able to take him home. Once there, they began to nurse Messi back to health and ultimately overcame his ailments. Now full-grown at 90 lbs., Messi is smaller than the average puma at two-thirds the size.

He requires a lot of exercise, and Aleksandr and Mariya take him on walks twice a day. They also go to training classes several times a week, and Messi has learned 10 commands. But when he's relaxing at home, he loves to climb into boxes, scratch on his post, and lounge with his favorite people. The domesticated puma also enjoys being petted and will gladly play with his humans, without using his claws.

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What is especially endearing about this story is that it's proof that humans and animals can form a strong bond of unshakable devotion and trust. And how animals do, in fact, express love on a very deep level. And unlike many humans, an animals love is unconditional.  

What I found touching in all the video clips I've watched of Messi interacting with Aleksandr and Mariya, is how much gratitude he feels towards them for saving his life. And you can literally sense that from all the affection he gives them. 

Messi has such a sweet and gentle nature...


He da' big boy!...


One of Messi's favorite things to do is take a bath, which is unusual for a cat. I actually watched one of the videos on his YouTube channel in which he got a bath and was blown away by how relaxed and docile he was throughout the whole procedure. He just sat there; allowing Aleksandr to do whatever he needed to do. Like wash his manly paws...


Here is Messi's "man cave" space where he can hang out, play, eat, and use his scratching post...




Look at the size of those paws. 
WOW!...


Messi attending his training class with the dogs...


I love his leather vest ensemble in this photo.
He looks like he should be riding a Harley-Davidson...


If you watch any of the videos, you will immediately notice that Messi is extremely close to Aleksandr. I don't know if it's a "male bonding" thing or that Aleksandr has a very special connection with animals. But Messi is sooooooo affectionate with him...
 

He loves to receive and give kisses...



Messi's studious look...


Nap time...


An example of just how cuddly and affectionate Messi is with  
Aleksandr...



When I look at this next photograph, I am reminded of how much beauty animals bring to this world. Just look at the color and texture of his fur and the markings on his face. It looks as though his face was painted, like a work of art.

What a handsome, handsome boy...


This image says it all.

Love...


Have a beautiful week, y'all!
💗


*Messi on YouTube (the videos are spoken in Russian, however, you can click on the English subtitles).

28 comments

  1. http://ladyfi.wordpress.comSeptember 22, 2020

    Wow - what an amazing and heart-warming story!

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  2. Yes, I thought the same thing, Fiona. Which is why I felt the desire to share it. And you can see, just from the photographs how well-taken care of Messi is.

    I was half-tempted to email the owners and offer to cat-sit Messi if I'm ever in Russia. LOL! I would love to snuggle with that cat, he's adorable!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a terrific week!

    X

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  3. Ron, what a touching post, Ron! I have two cats, so I am also smitten. Messi is such a handsome puma. And you can see how sweet he is from his eyes. As you said, he's a work of art. I am so moved by how he was rescued. What special people they are to have adopted and cared for him with such devotion. Those paws are HUGE. That's my favorite part of cats. I love their paws.

    Thank you so much for sharing this today. I will be checking out their YouTube channel. Can't wait!

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  4. Isn't Messi SUCH a handsome lad? OMG, all I want to do is snuggle up to him and hug and kiss him. And I bet his fur is so soft!

    I know, those two people are such sweethearts for rescuing him and taking such care of him. And you can tell just how well-cared he is.

    "That's my favorite part of cats. I love their paws."


    HA! Me too! I used to have a cat named, Jerry, who's paws I would gently rub when he was sleeping and he loved it.

    Yes, check out their channel because they have so many wonderful videos. As I said, they speak in their native language, Russian, however, you can use the subtitles. But honestly, half the time when I watch them, I just watch them without using subtitles because you can almost tell what they're saying by their actions.

    Thanks for stopping by, my friend. Have a grrrreat week!
    X

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  5. Well, that’s something I’ve never heard of before! It’s a little on the crazy side, but I’m glad he wasn’t euthanized. You’re right, he is stunning with those big blue eyes! And the picture of him in the bathtub makes him look like a kitty. I’d love to pet him to see how soft that fur is. I wonder what those dogs are thinking in the class? Lol!

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  6. Oh my god, Ron, this post is so sweet!!! How do you always find such interesting things on YouTube? All I ever find is the same old crap LOL! I love how affectionate and cuddly Messi is. And that he loves kisses! He acts just a domestic house cat, only bigger. So happy to hear that he wasn't euthanized. Can you imagine that puma not given the chance to grow up into that beautiful, loving creature? Bless those two people for doing what they did. And I'm sure Messi knows it too.

    I love the photo of him getting a bath. What a cute face he has! And that final picture of the three of them looks like a family portrait!

    Thanks for sharing this, Ron. Warmed my heart! xo

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  7. Ron—as you know, I'm a cat fan, too. Messi looks so gentle and loving...almost like a giant version of Sydney. I especially like the "studious look" photo where he's wearing glasses. Gotta wonder, though: does he use a litter box? And if so, who gets stuck scooping that thing??

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  8. Ron, you know I'm not a cat-person, but this Puma is stunning! Look how beautiful and soulful his eyes are! And you're right -- his face almost looks like it's painted.


    The intensity of the animal-human bond never fails to impress me. This "wild" animal apparently senses welcoming love from this couple and is eager to return it. I think rescued animals seem especially appreciative to those who save them from sometimes terrible situations and death. My sister has a rescue dog and, after a shaky beginning, it's settled into a "thick-as-thieves" relationship, benefiting both parties.


    Thanks for introducing us this morning to Messi -- and wow, what an experience you've described, standing that close to a performing tiger! xo

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  9. " Gotta wonder, though: does he use a litter box? And if so, who gets stuck scooping that thing??"

    HA! Mark, that is so funny because I thought the very same thing! And from watching the videos, I couldn't tell who gets stuck scooping the thing. And even though they walk him a lot in a day, there still has to be moments when he needs to go, say, in the middle of the night. And it's not like they can install a LARGE pet door, so he can go in and out.

    Isn't he a handsome kitty? And yes, he really does look like a bigger version of a housecat.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Hope you're having a faaaaaaabulous week! The weather here has been out of this world--sunny, blue skies, and high 50's. LOVIN' it!

    X to you and Tara

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  10. Hey there Debbie!

    I know, isn't he STUNNING? And yes...his eyes are soulful, you're absolutely right! I can't get over how it looks as though his face was literally painted on with a brush.

    Me too, my friend, the intensity of the animal-human bond is so impressive. And you said, especially with rescued animals because I know that they know it and are so appreciative.

    "My sister has a rescue dog and, after a shaky beginning, it's settled into a "thick-as-thieves" relationship, benefiting both parties."

    Oh, that's AWESOME! I think in certain cases, rescued animals are often neglected and sometimes abused, therefore, I think it takes them awhile to warm up and trust again.

    Yes, having had that experience with the tiger was truly special because I had always wanted to see a tiger up close because it's my favorite big cat. And I found out from his trainer that the majority of tigers who perform are male, because male tigers are easier to train.

    Thanks so much for stopping by. Hope you're enjoying a faaaaaaabulous week! The weather here has been just glorious. It finally feels like AUTUMN!

    X

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  11. Hola Denise!

    I know, isn't Messi the sweetest-looking thing you ever saw? I just want give him a big hug and a kiss on his head. HA!

    I'm on YouTube a lot because I'm always searching for free movies, so I end up finding a lot of interesting things. But yes, there is also a lot of crap.

    "So happy to hear that he wasn't euthanized. Can you imagine that puma not given the chance to grow up into that beautiful, loving creature? "

    Amen! And yes, bless those two people for rescuing him. And they way they take care of him is like their child. You can tell they love him so much. They also have a small domesticated cat that lives with them. The two of them love animals.

    Yes, I was a magicians assistant for some time, back when I was living Orlando. One of the magicians was the husband of a dear friend of mine who I did a lot of theater with. I did a few a illusions with them and had a blast!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, girl. Have faaaaaaabulous week!

    X

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  12. I know, can you believe it? When I discovered the YouTube channel, I was hooked because I LOVE big cats. And Messi is so sweet that when you watch the videos, your heart melts because you can feel the love between he and his caretakers. They have such a strong bond.

    HA! I know, he does look like a kitty in the bathtub. I love the look on his face. He's got the sweetest eyes.

    "I’d love to pet him to see how soft that fur is. I wonder what those dogs are thinking in the class? Lol!"

    OMG, me too! And not only pet him, but give him a big old hug and a smooch! And I bet his fur is really soft because it looks it.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Hope you're having an excellent week! The weather here has been stunning, so I've been spending a lot of time outdoors taking walks. Autumn is coming!!!!!

    X

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  13. My goodness, what a beautiful animal--and what a fabulous post!

    Messi seems so warm-hearted and gentle. Thank God that wonderful couple was able to rescue him.

    One of my neighbors owns a rescue dog and she has a sign outside her house that actually brings a tear to my eye every time I read it.

    It simply asks "Who rescued who?" and I think that applies to Messi's story as well.

    These images are so fabulous and touching. Except for the bathtub photo which is downright amazing. What cat likes taking a bath!?!

    And I never knew you were a magician's assistant! It's time for you to start your own magic act: The Amazing Rondo and his Wonder Puma!

    Take care, buddy!

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  14. Hey there Rob!

    Isn't Messi a sweetheart? And you can tell just from the photographs, can't you? I know, thank God that wonderful couple was able to rescue him. They must have completely different regulations in Russia because there is no way in American that anyone could adopt a puma and allow it to live in the house with them. But let me tell you something, if we could do that here, I sure would adopt one. HA!

    "It simply asks "Who rescued who?" and I think that applies to Messi's story as well."

    OMG....yes...it would tears to my eyes to because it's so true. Who rescued who? Exactly. I think things happen for a reason, therefore in this situation, they were meant all be together, helping each other.

    I know, can you freaking believe Messi in the bathtub? And you should see the video because it's amazing to see how docile and calm he is. Even with soap suds on his face.

    Yes, I was magician's assistant when I was still living in Orlando, They were two really amazing magicians that did both close-up and stage illusions. I had so much fun learning how the illusions were done. And I was sworn to secrecy not to ever tell anyone how the illusions were done.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Have a FAB week!

    X

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  15. Ron, I wanted to tell you that my girlfriend and I both read this post and loved it! We have two cats, so we are feline smitten as well. These photos are just beautiful. And you can really see the close bond they share. Messi such a stunning puma! It's hard to imagine him having health issues because he looks so healthy, strong, and vital. And that is due to the care and attention of Aleksandr and Mariya. Amazing people!

    That photo of Messi in the bathtub is so sweet. And you're right, his face is like a work of art.

    Thanks for sharing this, dude. Awesome post!

    How did you ever become a magician's assistant? That is so neat!

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  16. Hiya Matt!

    So glad you both enjoyed! Last week, I knew I wanted to share this story because it's so special. I've already watched so many of their YouTube videos. It's fascinating to watch how they care for Messi and how much he's a part of their life. It's so touching.

    " It's hard to imagine him having health issues because he looks so healthy, strong, and vital. And that is due to the care and attention of Aleksandr and Mariya. Amazing people!"

    I know, right? Messi looks so healthy and strong. He's such beautiful cat!

    Yes, I was assistant for about a year when I was living in Orlando, Florida. I got the job through a close friend of mine who was involved in theater with me. And the reason they approached me was because I'm small, and they needed someone small in stature to do all the illusions. It was so much fun!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Happy Hump Day!

    X

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  17. Ron, I smiled the whole time I was reading this post. This story is so touching! And OMG...the size Messi's paws are incredible. They're massive! But oh, how sweet and gentle he looks. You can see that in his eyes and whole demeanor. It's interesting to know that they can keep a wild cat in their home.

    What touches me the most is how affectionate he is. It's so cute how he loves to receive and give kisses, and that he loves to cuddle. Messi is like a regular cat, just BIGGER.

    Heart-touching post, Ron! Thank you xo

    P.S. I see on the news that the northeast is getting cooler temperatures. I'm sure you're relishing it!

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  18. Hola Denise!

    Isn't this such a touching story? And I smile the whole time I'm watching their YouTube videos because to see how they all interact with each other in their everyday life is both sweet and fascinating. They even take Messi the car for drives!

    "It's interesting to know that they can keep a wild cat in their home."

    Yes, they can do so in Russia, but it does require permission. They have to go through some sort of legal process.

    I too find it so touching how affectionate Messi is. And it's funny because many people think that cats are not as affectionate as, say, dogs. But they are.

    Glad you enjoyed, my friend. Thanks so much for stopping by, and have a great rest of your week!
    X

    OMG....the weather here has been glorious! For the past 4-5 days it's been bright and sunny, but very cool. (60's and 50's). And yes, I am relishing it so much!

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  19. Ron, with all the drama and chaos in the news lately, it's so refreshing to read something positive. Wonderful story. And thank you so much for sharing it.

    Messi is beautiful!

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  20. Greetings Daniel!

    Glad you enjoyed. Isn't it such a wonderful story? And isn't Messi a stunner?

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a terrific rest of your week!

    X

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  21. That's really cool, Ron! I would love to hear all about it. Perhaps in one of your future posts? Just a hint of a suggestion LOL!

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  22. LOL! Thanks for the suggestion. Matt, because I just might do that!

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  23. Ron, I checked out their YouTube channel and like you, I'm a fan. I've been enjoying the videos so much. Thanks for the link. Messi is cute!

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  24. So happy to hear that you're enjoying the vids! Aren't they great? I watched one myself the other evening in which it was Messi's birthday and they bought him a bunch of balloons, which he POPPED them all. LOL!

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  25. Beautiful story. I'm glad this magnificent animal was not euthanized. The second to the last "portrait" shows the beauty of such a cat like this. That said, I hope this couple realizes Messi, although having an unconventional upbringing, is still a wild animal and deserves respect as such because at some point he may exert his instincts and nature. I hope this story ends up similar to Christian, the lion and he never forgets the couple that "saved" him. We always need to realize the immense power of these animals and that they are not designed to be house cats. The devastating accident with Roy Horn and one of his white tigers is a good example of never taking this for granted. Thanks for sharing. Messi is gorgeous!

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  26. Hey there Lisa!

    I understand your concern, however, I invite you to take some time to watch several of the videos and you will see the "respect" and understanding that they have for Messi. And Messi for them.

    And yes, they are most definitely aware of his power; the fact that he is a wild animal and not a house cat; and what his natural instincts are.

    But what is so beautiful about this story is that they were/are willing to take a chance, knowing those things.

    Because they love him.

    And he loves them.

    Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts and feelings. Hope you're having a faaaaaaaaabulous weekend!

    X

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  27. That was a great story and what a very good lucking and very lucky puma cat to have such great human companions. Thanks for the channel link and this weekend, I plan to watch some of Messi's videos. That is one very handsome animal and nice looking human owners as well.

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  28. Hey there D!

    ".... what a very good lucking and very lucky puma cat to have such great human companions."

    I agree! They were so lucky to find one another. They also have another (house) cat, and it's funny to watch Messi and the house cat live together as if they were both house cats!

    Great! Hope you enjoy the videos. They give you a really good idea of how all live in the same space, like a family!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a great rest of your weekend!

    X

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