Meet Messi, no, we aren’t referring to the football player but Messi, the magnificent puma!
Messi met his human parents for the first time at the Saransk Zoo in Penza when he was an eight-month-old youngster.
The sweet puma was born in the zoo with his two siblings; Neymar and Suarez. As you can see, the person who named them is definitely an FC Barcelona fan. The adorable cubs were named after big football players in honor of Russia’s World Cup hospitality.
When little Messi was three months old, he was transferred to the Saransk Zoo, where he suffered from health issues. But luckily, he found his forever family there; Aleksandr (38) and Mariya (28) Dmitriev.
When the couple saw Messi for the first time, they couldn’t help but fall in love with the adorable cub. The two started thinking about having him just for themselves.
Mariya says that Aleksandr had always wanted to have a gigantic wild cat, “He always thought about having a lynx – never a puma. It’s hard to explain but we believe that having this puma is part of our destiny.”
They had been thinking for three days about the morality of keeping a puma in a house, and they decided to give Messi the best life a rescue cat can have. They went to the zoo to negotiate and convinced the executives to sell the cub till they finally made their minds up and agreed.
They admit that taking care of the young puma wasn’t easy. It definitely wasn’t like raising a regular cat, and he needed medical care.
But besides requiring special treatments, he asks lots of attention as all the pets do. He has lots of energy and needs to exercise a lot! The Dmitrievs bought him a special harness and coat in order to take him out for strolls.
They sometimes see him as a dog; they even had to train him to walk on a leash. Aleksandr says that he takes the puma out for a walk at least twice a day, and he behaves well.
When the couple came to the realization that they need professional help, they started looking for a handler till they agreed to try a dog training school.
Watch Messi in his dog training school:
The Dmitrievs are convinced that he is their family member, and he would never hurt them. Messi is affectionate and loves being around people.
But not only that, he is the king of the house, he is also an Instagram and YouTube sensation, with over 1.2 million followers on Instagram and more than 829K subscribers on YouTube, he is taking over social media.
Messi is a an excellent student:
The unlikely family lives together in a small apartment with their large furry friend who happens to weigh 90lb.
Watch the adorable puma here: