St. Petersburg's well renowned Hermitage Museum gave away 11 cats on Saturday, as museum staff attempted to find suitable owners for their growing number of 'cat guards.' The Hermitage Museum has been employing cats to protect the huge collection of artwork from rodents since its establishment in 1764. Their rank as 'cat guards' was decreed under Catherine the Great, who gave the felines a corresponding allowance, in addition to their rank. In recent years the number of cats has significantly increased, pushing museum staff to look for new homes for their feline friends. In 2014 Hermitage staff found new homes for over 700 cats.
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