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Cats keep warm in Hermitage basement

UPI News Service, 01/04/2011 

Caretakers for cats inhabiting the famous Hermitage Gallery in St. Petersburg, Russia, said there are currently 50 felines in the palace's basement.

The volunteer cat lovers said the facility, which was once home to Catherine the Great, has housed felines since they were brought in centuries ago to keep vermin from damaging works of art, Sky News reported.

Tatiana Danilova, who heads the volunteer group caring for the cats, said a new feline was recently brought in by builders who found it injured and starving in the winter cold. She said the cat is doing much better and lounging in luxury in the palace.

"When a cat gets sick, especially seriously sick, it becomes the most loved by us," she said. "I think this is in our Russian nature -- we love those who are unhappy more."

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Copyright 2011 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any repr

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