Annual reports of the Russian Emperors hunts were published in work-of-art hand painted bulletins. These are examples of those reports, with a detailed list of how much of each species has been hunted down. For example, the Imperial Hunt Bulletin of 1908 reports that they have hunted down:
Also tens of badgers, some otters, martens, hundreds of ferrets and ermines.
Looks pretty normal for the hunters, until you get to things like:
“In the year 1908, it was hunted seven hundred and twelve stray dogs, one thousand two hundred eighty five cats.”. WHAT?! Can this be some sort of a mistake or coded words for something else?
Looks like no. Let’s see the imperial hunt bulletin of 1900 – “In 1902, 719 stray dogs and 1010 cats hunted down”
Year 1902: 899 dogs, 1322 cats…
Year 1911: total 631 dogs and 1177 cats.
Well, I am not sure that the Emperor’s family personally hunted dogs and cats, however they are included in the reports for some reason.
Usually the hunts were held to get the meat or to get the fur, however what was the purpose of hunting down the cats?