Camila VillafaƱe

By Camila VillafaƱe

LifeBuzz Staff

Meet Messi, The Pet Puma Who Was Trained Like A Dog.

This Puma's Unique

This Puma's Unique

I_am_puma / Instagram

In Penza, Russia lives a two-year-old puma named Messi. He even has an Instagram page and 300,000 people following his mischiefs and good looks. But don't expect to find Messi hanging out at the zoo or animal sanctuary. He actually lives with two people and a regular house cat in a typical apartment home.

It Was True Love

It Was True Love

I_am_puma / Instagram

Messi met Maria and Aleksandr Dmitriev when they noticed him at a petting zoo. At the time he was only one. Since the Dmitrievs loved cats, they immediately fell head over heels in love with Messi. So they asked the zoo owners to tell them more about Messi's life story.

The Cub Was Ill

The Cub Was Ill

I_am_puma / Instagram

In October of 2015, Messi's mom birthed him at the Saransk city zoo. But he experienced lots of health issues when he was just three months old, so the petting zoo took him off their hands. Once the Dmitrievs heard the narrative, they requested to purchase Messi from the petting zoo owners and they said yes.

It Was A Risk

It Was A Risk

I_am_puma / Instagram

Messi was going to be a handful, especially when he grew up, and the Dmitrievs understood that. Messi would have lots of medical needs and would be targeted by other pumas if he were released in the wild. So they tried domesticating him at home, and the Dmitrievs took their role as parents quite seriously.

Comfort Was Key

Comfort Was Key

I_am_puma / Instagram

Maria and Aleksandr prepared a room in their apartment to handle all of Messi's needs, based solely on their extensive research. They added a tree in the corner, a hiding hole, and added bamboo to the walls. Scratching posts were made from the door jambs, and a mirrored wall was set up so Messi could entertain himself literally. But the real challenge wasn't his living accommodations.

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