The International Internet Cat Fight

Sunday night, the host of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight,” John Oliver sparked an international, internet cat fight when he criticized the leader of Chechnya, Kremlin-backed Ramzan Kadyrov who posted an internet appeal to find his lost cat, a so-called toyger, a domestic cat bred to resemble a tiger cub.

Last week, Kadyrov posted a message on Instagram to ask for help in locating the animal. “We have begun to seriously worry,” he wrote, asking for anyone with information on the cat’s whereabouts to get in touch.

During the sketch on Sunday, Oliver said Kadyrov, who posts regular videos of his work-outs in the gym on Instagram, is “basically like a can of Monster energy drink come to life”. He also teased the Chechen for his propensity to wear T-shirts bearing the image of president Vladimir Putin. [..]

Kadyrov’s Instagram response to Oliver was accompanied by a long text in semi-comprehensible English: “The anchorman comedian – John Oliver asks millions of viewers to look for a cat. I knew long ago that in the USA unevenly breathe to my younger friends. One day horses aren’t allowed to jump, the other – a cat is a real star of a show,” he wrote. [..]

Despite the apparent seriousness of the initial post looking for the cat, Kadyrov suggested the whole affair was more of a storm in a teacup, and that the cat had merely left to reproduce.

“By cat rumors he has in our district a familiar she-cat with which he’s going to start a family. I’m sure that after spring affairs, the cat will return to native walls. Perhaps, he’ll bring his sweet love with him,” Kadyrov wrote.