The Remarkable Russian Blue: Comparing Olga to the Breed Standard

Lifestyle


Hi, I’m Christopher! Read my introduction to learn more about me and my silly Russian Blue cat, Olga.

I didn’t know much about Russian Blues until I adopted one, but after watching Olga transform from a psychotic kitten to a friendly, mischievous, middle-aged lady, I’ve learned a lot. Her physical characteristics, like her blue coat, light green eyes, and 10.06-pound weight, seem to follow the breed standard.

Olga is a rescue cat; I’ve never had her DNA tested, and I’m not an expert at identifying felines, so she could be purebred or mixed. I think she has plenty of Russian Blue blood pumping in her veins and displays most of the behavioral traits that made the breed famous.

Russian Blue Behavior

She was aloof and violent as a young cat and affectionate without being clingy. She’s smarter and more coordinated than I initially gave her credit for and can open and close doors, catch paper balls like an outfielder, attack me when I sleep late, and detect when I’m having a bad day.

However, some Russian Blue folklore makes me laugh when I think about Olga. Even the nicknames Archangel Blue and Maltese Blue aren’t accurate representations of her. If anything, she’s more of an anti-Christ than an Archangel. Russian Blues supposedly have “Mona Lisa smiles” because of their upturned mouths, but Olga’s looks more devious and similar to Lizzie Borden’s.

This is your last chance; I’m jumping on that keyboard if you don’t have my dinner ready soon.

Archangel Folklore

There’s a myth that Russian Blues watched over babies while they slept and protected them from the 19th-century version of Freddy Kruger. If only the kids on Elm Street had a colony of felines, so many murders could have been prevented, as long as they didn’t have cats like Olga.

She’s no match for an evil spirit, poltergeist, dream assassin, or holographic vacuum cleaner. I can count on her to dispatch insects, but anything else, whether natural or metaphysical, causes her to sprint in fear. Olga is a stealthy runner and master at blending in with the shadows, and an intruder in my home wouldn’t know I have a cat unless they stumble over the litter box.

Olga the Brave (Meek)

She’s fierce when confronted by stuffed mice, paper balls, and flies but runs when she hears a helicopter flying over or a pyrotechnic explosion. Olga isn’t a guard cat and may not be the best babysitter for kids, but I like the idea that cats in northern Russia protected sleeping babies instead of stealing their breath or cursing them, as other superstitions suggest.

Olga’s ancestors traveled with sailors to other European countries after leaving Arkhangelsk, and it’s possible that their seafaring ways and tolerance of water were retained in Olga’s genes. She’s never been on a boat or seen the ocean, but she isn’t afraid to play in the shower water or attack me on the rare occasion I’m in the bathtub.

From this angle, my head really looks enormous, doesn't it?
From this angle, my head really looks enormous, doesn’t it?

Before I learned to keep the bathroom door locked, she tried to swat at me through the shower curtain, and a few years ago, when I was in the tub, she knocked a shampoo bottle into my head after casually taking a stroll on the slippery edge.

I remind guests to lock the door before they get in the shower because I don’t want my pint-sized Norman Bates to wander in and scare them. I’m proud of Olga for being clever and relieved she hasn’t learned how to handle a butcher knife.



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