Saturday, December 6, 2014

Kharkiv Cat Mafia

There's a crumbling brick house off Pushkinska street, wedged between a real estate agency and an apartment building. For most of the people who live in this area, it's nothing more than a mundane parking spot. Others, though, can tell you what this place really is: home of the Kharkiv cat mafia.

These guys are real gangsters. They slink around in all kinds of weather, sniffing half-smoked cigarette butts and empty vodka bottles. They spend the day squatted down like furry sentries, the night prowling and fighting for ladies. They're not like those new-age cats on the other side of town. Compare:
The "we're-all-friends-here" cat club in Holodna Gora.
The Kharkiv cat mafia (sending you a hearty welcome).

Just like real gangsters, they extort whatever they want out of the neighborhood's residents.
Cat critical mass has now been achieved; the man in this building will capitulate. Or else.

Like pirates, they use a plank to control access to their lair.

They never let their guard down, even during the long cold days of a Ukrainian winter.

We lived in this neighborhood in 2012, back when Кит was an impressionable 1 year old. As cat parents, we were deeply concerned to find out that our sweet little feline had fallen under their influence and was already beginning to emulate their behavior.
local mob boss
Obviously we did what any responsible parental figures would do in this situation: moved to a nice, quiet area across town. Кит turned out just fine, thankfully ; ) Although we're not in Ukraine anymore, I imagine the Kharkiv cat mafia is still there in the Pushkinska street alley, battling it out over turf and females.

But I don't want to leave you with the taste of fear in your mouth from this scary exposé on the feline underworld in eastern Europe. As fearsome as the thugs and dames of this alleyway are, their children are downright adorable. Take a peek-

That's all for meow!


  1. Replies
    1. Yep ; )

      Katya, congratulations on starting a blog, by the way! Do you live in the Donbass region?

  2. Awe. Just lovely photos of those beauties. Nice post too. Love the title.

    But in the interests of fairness and equality - a 'Canine Crew' post to follow?

    1. Thanks, Danny! It would only be fair... but you know, the cats ran that city. I hardly saw any dogs!

  3. I'm meting at the look of those adorable cats even if they are part of a "criminal organization" ;)

    1. Thanks for stopping by to check out the cats, Franca. They are pretty adorable : )

  4. I walked past this place the other day! Didn't know there are so many cats there :O Must go have another gander...

    Being a new foreigner in Kharkiv, I'm so glad to have discovered your blog! Are you planning to come back for another visit? ;)

    1. Hi Ellie! Wow, you found it :) So cool! They must have all been away on nefarious business when you passed by ;)

      We are planning to come back... but probably not anytime soon, sadly. How about you? Will you stick around Kharkiv for a while? It's such a great place! Have you found any favorite restaurants / parks / metro stops / etc yet?