Saved from the garbage, Russian cat lands on its feet in minister's chair

MOSCOW (Reuters) - When a worker at a Russian garbage sorting facility rescued a cat from imminent death, little did he know that she would receive an honorary title and nap in a government official's chair.
The surveillance footage at the plant in Ulyanovsk, a town around 700 km southeast of Moscow, showed on Monday worker Mikhail Tukash picking up a white plastic bag from a conveyor belt and slitting it open to discover a black and white male cat inside.
"I felt something soft in my pocket," Tukash, who was honored by the local authorities for the rescue, told the Moskovsky Komsomolets tabloid. "I cut the bag open slightly and I saw eyes looking at me."
Rescuing the Cat, which appears on TV and social media, has made him a local celebrity. He was adopted by the Ulyanovsk Region Environment Ministry and unofficially appointed Deputy Environment Minister.
"The cat was on the verge of death," the ministry said on Wednesday. "A little longer and it would have ended up in the waste separator."
Pictures from the ministry showed the cat napping in a swivel chair in Environment Minister Gulnara Rakhmatulina's office and exploring her new home.
The ministry has announced a nationwide competition to choose a name for the cat that is found to be healthy after an examination by a veterinarian.
"I want to appeal to pet owners: remember that you are responsible for those who tamed you," said Rakhmatulina. "If you can't keep your pet at home, you can always leave it in good hands or in a shelter."
(Reporting by Dmitry Turlyun; writing by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; editing by Barbara Lewis)

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