'My cat is safe', Medvedev assures Russia
MOSCOW, March 28, 2012 (AFP) - Setting aside fears for a new arms race with the United States or the conflict in Syria, President Dmitry Medvedev took to Twitter Wednesday to reassure Russia on another burning issue -- the wellbeing of his cat.
Presidential pet Dorofey had not, contrary to press reports and frenzied Internet speculation, gone missing.
"It has become known from sources close to Dorofey that he didn't disappear. Thank you for your concern, everyone," tweeted Medvedev.
Russian social media users have been having a field day speculating about the cat's alleged escape, with at least two Twitter accounts created in Dorofey's name to post updates of his whereabouts and his decision to join the nascent protest movement.
"I am tired of politics! I want family and kids!" one Dorofey impersonator @Dorofey_Kot tweeted.
The cat's name -- derived from Greek Dorotheos, or the 'gift of God' -- soared to global Twitter trends as bloggers joked the animal had fled ahead of his owner's departure from the Kremlin in May.
"The story of Dorofey's disappearance is rubbish, just as the story of the attempt on Putin's life," wrote popular blogger @davidmsk, referring to a reported pre-election plot against the Russian leader.
"It's meant to bring out human feelings toward the country's leaders," he added.
The initial publication of the cat's disappearance Wednesday in Sobesednik weekly newspaper alleged that police in the Moscow region of Odintsovo, where the presidential residence Gorki is located, had left their duties to search for Dorofey.
Police denied the report.
Medvedev's cat moved to Gorki with its owner in 2008. Russian media say it is a Siberian breed and was picked out by first lady Svetlana Medvedeva.
The outgoing president has been the target of merciless mockery by Russia's growing blogging community since Putin's election victory left him a lame duck head of state.
(Photo: In this Monday, July 6, 2009 file photo U.S. President Barack Obama and U.S. first lady Michelle Obama look at Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's cat, Dorofey, at the Gorki residence outside Moscow, Russia. Russian media reports on Wednesday March 28, 2012, claimed that the cat has gone missing, but Medvedev himself dismissed the claim on his Twitter account on Wednesday, saying it never has been lost. | AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Mikhail Klimentyev, Presidential Press Service - JULY 6, 2009 FILE PHOTO POOL)