Rusik’s story began when he was adopted by customs guards at a security checkpoint in Stavropol, on the shores of the Caspian Sea. It wasn’t long after adopting him that guards discovered Rusik’s uncanny knack for finding caviar.
Sniffing out caviar doesn’t seem like an extraordinary skill, especially for a cat, but with approximately 95% of the world’s highest quality caviar coming from this area, poachers were everywhere. The poachers would obtain the caviar illegally, then smuggle it out to sell on the black market.
Rusik was so good at finding hidden caviar that he soon replaced the police dogs previously assigned to the job. Being so good at his job proved to be Rusik’s undoing, though.
Unfortunately, Rusik’s stellar police career was short lived. In 2003, after inspecting a bus for illegal caviar, he jumped out into the street where he was struck and killed by a car. Many think it was no accident, since Rusik had discovered illegal caviar in that car not long before his death.
Conspiracy theories continued after another police cat died on duty after eating a poisoned mouse.
Do you know an extraordinary cat? If so, we’d like to feature them in our weekly cat story segment. Please email [email protected] with information.
Source: 100 Cats Who Changed Civilization by Sam Stall