Perhaps you’ve heard of Saint Petersburg’s State Hermitage Museum and the 50 or so cats that live underneath the floors. But, the king of them all is Sigismund the Puppet Cat.
Yes, aside from the Hermitage Museums’s robust art collection that spans decades and glitters with jewels that surely weren’t acquired using questionable methods during a Tsar’s reign, the real attraction is this terrifying orange tabby who haunts delights the museum’s halls and visitors.
What Is Sigismund the Hermitage Cat?
Sigismund the St. Petersburg Hermitage Museum cat is a puppet who represents the real cats that live below the museum. He “assists” the marketing and media team by talking about the many exhibits and special features of the museum and knocking over cups of tea.
With enormous green eyes that seem to be on the verge of popping out of his head, a serial killer smile, questionable proportions, and his ability to walk on two legs, Sigismund looks like he was created by someone who consulted the Medieval bestiaries instead of you know, looking in the basement.
Like all puppets, he’s propped up and controlled by strings that disappear into the space above, and he moves with swift jerks and sudden spasms.
And for better or worse, Sigismund doesn’t actually speak. We thought that as the museum’s cat mascot he might, but instead, he just emits a disturbing combination of grunting and meowing. Clearly, Gritty needs to take him under his orange wing.
What Else Do We Know About Sigismund?
It’s hard to tell exactly how long our orange, bug-eyed, feline friend has been terrorizing, err…educating, visitors. He seemed to really hit his stride around March 2021 with not one, not two, but three video features in a row on Instagram.
Sigismund appears on the official Hermitage Museum Instagram account around 2019, but he may have been around even earlier. In full transparency, we stopped searching their account at that point, because man, does that social team work hard. Someone might want to tell them that they don’t need to feature every single piece of artwork on their page.
Over the past year, this maniacal marionette has walked viewers through the theater, taken a deep dive into how Dutch artists portray winter, and has even stopped by the post office.
Does he enjoy these adventures? Does he ever get to hang out with his kind in the basement? There are so many questions left unanswered, including who makes that stylish bandana he sports.
Until we learn to speak Russian, we’ll be left to to wonder. For now, we’ll just be obsessively checking for more Sigismund Cat content. It may be creepy, but at least it makes us feel something.
Because You Didn’t Ask, Here’s More Photos of Sigismund, Our Favorite Creepy Cat Mascot Doing Cat Things
1. Uh, singing?
2. Climbing on Furniture He Doesn’t Belong On
3. Hiding Under Tables
4. Thinking About Shredding a Priceless Work of Art
5. Literally Getting into the Artwork
6. Doing Whatever This Is
7. Stealing Mail
9. Whatever This Is.
We haven’t been able to find any YouTube vidoes of Sigismiund, but we did find this somehow more frightening puppet with a similar name. Sleep tight!