The Bishop’s cat Bishop
The most famous cat in the Pskov region of Russia is called Bishop (Church Slavonic/Russ. Vladika), reports TASS. His “possessions” extend on the territory of the Pskov-Pechora Holy Monastery, one of the largest and most ancient male monasteries in Russia. The owner of the fluffy handsome man is also a bishop – Metropolitan Tikhon (Shevkunov) of Pskov and Porkhov, who is also the abbot of the monastery. The cat has an Instagram account and more than sixteen thousand followers, which is increasing every day. They follow Vladika’s posts and leave thousands of likes and hundreds of comments.
The cat came to the monastery almost a year ago as a gift for the abbot. Then it was a one-year-old kitten, but quickly became a constant companion of the miter. Tikhon. The Red Maine Coon attends every monastery meeting. He is allowed to lie on the table among the important documents or to stretch out in the bishop’s chair. The cat greets its owner after worship or business trips. Moreover, Mitr. Tikhon is allergic to cats, but not to Vladika.
“When the bishop works, the cat is always nearby. Fortunately, it turned out that the Maine Coons have hypoallergenic fur. As Bishop Tikhon himself says, the cat is more serious than he is. The animal likes to go out on the bishop’s balcony and watch what is happening on the Assumption Square of the monastery. Bishop Tikhon takes his red-haired friend when he travels on business. Once I even flew with my master to Moscow by plane and to everyone’s surprise I was very calm, “said the secretary of the miter. Tikhon Fr. Anthony, who runs the monastery cat’s blog.
One of the most popular photos there is that of the two bishops. The comments to it state that the pet is very similar to its owner. One of the most interesting stories is how the cat got its name. Mitr. Tikhon tried different names, calling him by them. He tried with the Novice, the Vicar, the Cellar, but the redhead didn’t even turn around. But as soon as he heard the Bishop, he immediately jumped up, says Fr. Anthony.
The cat can walk on the territory of the whole monastery complex, but he is not allowed to enter any of the ten temples.
In his Instagram account, the cat also appears in the role of a press secretary: he talks about the church holidays, visits the bazaar on the monastery square, invites guests to the holy monastery. The handsome redhead is also involved in charity, his online friends donate to causes mentioned by the Bishop. Among them is financial support for a cat shelter.
“We have an official account of the monastery with serious information,” says Fr. Anthony, and Vladika’s profile is for a wider range of readers who prefer lighter content.
Through the stories and videos of the cat Vladika many people get acquainted with the life in the Pskov monastery, the holidays, the Christian customs and even take pilgrimages there. The Instagram account states that the account of the cat of the Pskov Metropolitan is maintained by the secretaries in their “free” time.