- Dmitry Mikhnev went viral for posting videos of his cat, Hunter, meowing to the beat of songs.
- When the Russian TikToker moved to Dubai in February, he couldn’t take Hunter with him.
- Now she is rushing to save up money to reunite with Hunter, as the war in the Ukraine makes travel uncertain.
Dmitry Mikhnev moved from his home in Moscow and arrived in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on February 22 with plans to save enough money to eventually have Hunter, his famous TikTok cat, join him.
Two days later, Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, throwing Eastern Europe into chaos. Now, with the uncertainty surrounding the war, Mikhnev is desperately trying to raise enough money to get his cat to Dubai as soon as possible.
“The situation in Russia changes every day and it’s not sure what other restrictions await us,” Mikhnev told Insider in an email, suggesting that Russia could close its borders.
Mikhnev and Hunter have built a following of more than 2.7 million people on TikTok, thanks to the duo’s musical act. Mikhnev usually plays a popular song, and touching his cat’s nose at the right time gets Hunter to meow to the beat.
Some of his most popular videos, earning up to 70 million views, feature Hunter meowing along with Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” and Justin Bieber’s “Peaches.”
Mikhnev said it went viral by accident. He first noticed that Hunter, who is almost 10 years old, meowed every time he applied light pressure to his nose.
“I surprised my mother with this trick: when I double-pressed her nose, she said, ‘Mama,'” she said.
After he posted the first video of Hunter doing the trick along with the music, “the internet exploded,” he said. Mikhnev now has people from all over the world watching videos of him and his cat. His fans include celebrities, with Bieber himself sharing one of the videos.
Mikhnev said that he wanted to leave Moscow since he was young, but recently it had become more difficult to work and earn money. “He was tired of the grey, the aggression and the terrible weather,” he said.
He said he moved to Dubai because he had spent time there before and initially left Hunter with his family because he couldn’t afford everything that would entail bringing him, including a vet appointment, vaccinations, tests, microchipping, flights and more expensive accommodation. in Dubai.
He planned to save enough money while working in Dubai for Hunter to join him, but now, with the war going on, he’s trying to do it as quickly as possible.
Mikhnev also said that the war in Ukraine was taking a serious toll on his mental state.
“Thousands of people are dying there, regardless of whether they are Russians or Ukrainians,” he told Insider. “Ukraine has been, is and always will be a brother country for me and for the majority of the Russian population, I am sure.”
Mikhnev is selling NFTs in an effort to raise enough money to get Hunter to Dubai. The non-fungible tokens feature, what else? – Hunter pixel art graphics. They also include graphics depicting cats in various outfits, smoking cigarettes and shooting lasers from their eyes.
Mikhnev wants Hunter out of Moscow now because he is worried about the impact of the war on Russia, where harsh sanctions enacted by the West are likely to have a devastating effect on Russia’s economy.
As for himself, Mikhnev says he never plans to visit his home country again.
“I’ve had enough of the ‘Russian world,'” he said, “and my goal is never to go back there.”
Translations by Nikita Angarski and Oleksandr Vynogradov.