Mariya and Aleksandr Dmitriev share a small one-bedroom apartment in Penza, Russia. Like most couples who are tight on space, they decided to get a house cat over a dog. However, that house cat just so happens to be a 90 lbs. puma.
The couple first spotted Messi at the Saransk Zoo. Back then, Messi was a sickly cub. Hoping to nurse him back to health, Mariya and Aleksandr offered to buy him. To their surprise, the management said yes.
Messi was one of three cubs born at the zoo. The other two were also named after famous soccer players, Suarez and Neymar, in celebration of the city hosting several games of the World Cup.
Now two-and-a-half years old, Messi has grown so attached to his human parents that any plans to release him into the wild, or even a zoo with other animals, would likely end in disaster. Read More