It started as an online appeal by feared Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov to help find his missing cat - a 'toyger' pedigree that ressembles a small tiger - and quickly furballed into a viral global effort to locate the now famous feline.
"Ten days ago, he disappeared," Kadyrov, who is more readily associated with inflicting misery on his Russian republic's people than love of his pets, posted on Instagram. "We all thought he would reappear, since he is very attached to the children and loves to play with them and go out with them in the yard. But now we have begun to seriously worry."
He would be "grateful for any information" about its whereabouts, Kadyrov added in the post to his 1.8mn followers.
Egged on by the mischievous #findkadyrovscat campaign on social media launched by US chat show host John Oliver, wry well-wishers and open Kadyrov-baiters worldwide have been piping up in the search for the missing moggy, many of them also attaching cat photos.
"I have not seen your cat comrade. Still looking!" responded a Skype user, while others added "have you checked your goatee?" and "Your cat was delicious!"
"I receive lots of photos," reads Kadyrov's latest toyger-related post on May 24. "Some people say that they saw the cat in Vladivostok, Japan, Iceland, New Zealand, and even in the Oval Office of the White House! I am grateful to all, but this is NOT my cat."
Toygers are a domesticated striped US breed that first arrived in Russia in 2008, and kittens currently fetch around $1,500. Kadyrov's initial Instagram posting about his specimen received more than 30,000 likes and 600 comments, but there is still no evidence that the cat has been found.
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