This is what Olga Voronova told us about her hobby:

“Museum ethics doesn’t allow a museum employee, especially a curator, to collect something. Collecting rarities never occurred to my mind. I was fond of animals and got a cat...

...And once I joked: if I couldn’t have 33 cats, I would collect toys. My room was not large, so I decided to collect small figures made of different materials and, if possible, brought from various places. But my friends amended my plans and started to give me everything which was connected with cats. Nobody ever thought how diverse and many-sided this subject was before I became interested in cats. Plates and dishes, clothing, bed linen, jewelry, printed goods, souvenirs, toys...

This was the beginning of my collection of cats. I thank everybody who has made a contribution to it!!!

Now cats from different cities of Russia, the Republic of Belarus, Poland, Italy, France, Germany, England, the USA, Egypt, Indonesia, Thailand, Turkey and China live in my house. There are cats made of paper, salty dough, fruit jelly, wax, cloth, glass, crystal, clay, porcelain, basalt, phosphorus, malachite, selenite, silver, bronze, wood.

Some of them are just souvenirs, but there are collective items and author’s works as well. They are all different – serious and funny, touching and nice. It is interesting to examine the image of the cat that was formed in other countries. When my friends visit me, I take out some figures and tell them where these cats came from.

And how many books have been written about cats! Many things were a real revelation to me. For instance, after the war, cats were gathered in several regions of the country and brought to Leningrad in separate carriages. Only they could save the city from rodents. It was rather difficult to get a cat. One can see the Monument to the Cat in Sadovaya Street of St. Petersburg – a tom cat is walking along the eaves from one side of the street and a pussy cat is sitting in the house in the other side.

I can constantly tell about cats and their stories. Once cats were considered to be sacred animals and they didn’t forget about it. But people forgot.

I wanted to show my cats to everybody who was fond of them. Perhaps, this small exhibition cheered up and pleased you”.

The display was very popular with the visitors. 910 people went to see it during the first month after its opening. Mainly, children of kindergartens and pupils of elementary school got acquainted with the exhibits. 43 thematic tours were conducted for them.

After each tour, employees of the museum arranged practical training for children where they could make a postcard “A cat on the window” themselves. They used construction paper, natural material (dried leaves and flowers), gouache and glue. Children were delighted with the unusual exhibits and an opportunity to make their display with their own hands. 

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