A Siberian cat sent as a gift by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Japanese governor Norihisa Satake finally met its owner on Tuesday, after spending five months in quarantine.
The cat arrived at the Akita prefectural government building in northeastern Japan, where the local governor Satake received it, naming the pet “Mir” after the Russian word for “Peace”.
Mir, a male cat that is 11-month old, arrived in Japan in August 2012 but had to spend five months in quarantine at the Narita international airport, the international press reports.
Satake said the cat has “cute eyes and is tame”, while a prefecture spokesman commented that “Mir is a very beautiful cat. He is marvelous. He’s a real presidential cat.”
Satake is famous for his love for felines and he already has seven cats.
The gift cat was sent after Satake gave to the Russian president an Akita Inu puppy named Yume (or “Dream”) last year. “For a dream to come true, there must be peace,” Satake said referring to the pets’ names.
The dog was sent to Putin in order to express gratitude and appreciation for Russia’s help given to Japan after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Russian Ambassador to Japan Evgeny Afanasiev conveyed a message from Putin, saying, “Yume is keeping well. I hope Mir can have a good life in Akita too,” according to Kyodo news agency.