A Russian fatcat is a lot slimmer now – thanks to a diet that includes cycling.
Morda – Mush in English – rides along on the neck of his owner in Krasnoyarsk Krai, a town in central Russia. Owner Vladimir Ilivanov bought “Morda” six years ago and the pair have been inseparable ever since.
The owner and the cat even share the same hobby…cycling! Vladimir and “Morda” have spent the last six years riding through Russian cities and taking part in cycling tournaments.
“He doesn’t do much during the winter, but when the spring comes he always rides on the back of my neck. For him it’s like horse riding”, jokes Vladimir. As the trainings have become more intensive “Morda” has lost 2kg in the last month just from the effort of holding on to his owner.
“He is very sensitive and knows that he can cling on with his legs around my neck but he never sinks his sharp claws into my flesh. We are now building up to training for a marathon in Siberia this year.”
Morda obtains special paperwork from the organisers of the bike races that his master enters. He is registered as ‘Feline 1`and recognised by racing marshals across the country.
A spokesman for the Russian Cycling Federation said: “Morda is as well known as any of the top cyclists. Although he doesn’t push the pedals himself he is known fondly everywhere as ‘the cycling cat’ and always brings a smile to the faces of those who see him.”