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Anorak | Roe Betide You

Roe Betide You

by | 14th, July 2003

‘RUSSIAN customs officers are mourning the loss of the country’s only ‘sniffer cat’ – run over and killed in what looks to all the world as a mafia contract killing.

Batik – believed to be the brains behind both deaths

Rusik had become the scourge of the Stavropol region’s mafia for his success in hunting out caviar being smuggled from the Caspian Sea to Moscow and thence to the West.

It is a lucrative trade, worth an estimated £1bn a year – but in recent months it had been severely curtailed by the talented Siamese’s nose for the sturgeon’s roe.

‘One day, Rusik just leapt into the boot of a passing car at a checkpoint and immediately sniffed out some sturgeon,’ police officer ergei Kovalenko told the Telegraph.

‘After that, we decided to use him all the time.’

However, Rusik’s celebrity was his undoing – and, soon after his prowess was publicised last week, he was mown down by a car in which he had once discovered smuggled sturgeon.

Another sniffer cat, Barsik, died a couple of weeks after eating a poisoned mouse.

Cat lovers, however, should not get too upset. Both Barsik and Rusik are now in some kind of aquatic cat heaven – swimming with the fishes.



Posted: 14th, July 2003 | In: Broadsheets Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink