Russian Museum Commits to April Fool's Joke and Hires a Cat 'Doorman'

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Most cats live a lazy life of naps and ‘nip. Not Maray, a ginger feline in Serpukhov, Russia. Thanks to a playful April Fools' Day joke, the kitty now has a paid 9-to-5 gig as a “doorman” at the Serpukhov Museum of History and Art.

In honor of April 1, the museum staff decided to trick the local media by writing up a fake job application letter from a cat that had been hanging around the building and greeting visitors, according to The application read: “As I am a direct relative of Maraeva [the museum’s ex-owner, who Maray was named after], I ask you to give me a job in your museum. Maray The Cat.” The note was even signed with a scribbled paw print.

The Serpukhov Museum sent that application letter to the Russian media, along with a fake press release announcing that they’d hired the furry visitor, Hyperallergic reports. But the joke was on staffers when the museum ended up receiving so many inquiries about their new hire that they decided to take the prank even further. They “hired” Maray as a permanent employee.

Now, Maray greets visitors from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and he’s allowed a lunch break and the occasional outdoor stroll. He also has his own special spot in the museum to conduct official business. After his shift, Maray is provided with his own tent to sleep in. As for “payment,” Maray is given fish and patties instead of rubles.

So far, the feline is popular among his new co-workers. "All people who work in our museum love Maray,” museum employee Nina Strelkova told Buzzfeed. “Many bring him food from home and take pictures with him. So he gets a little fat now. And visitors love the cat too—lots of them taking selfies with him.”

Maray isn’t the world’s only working feline. In south-central Japan, a fluffy calico kitty named Nitama famously serves as “station master” at a train station near Wakayama City. A library in Novorossiysk, Russia hired a tabby named Kuzya as an “assistant librarian” in 2013, and paid her a salary of 30 packs of cat food a month. And in the 1870s, the Belgian village of Liège trained 37 mail cats to deliver letters. Curious to learn more? Check out our brief history of working cats.