‘Big Floppa’ is a feline that has captured the attention of the internet with his magnificent green eyes, long snout, and furry ears. This charming cat has become the inspiration for memes, T-shirts, and phone applications on social media platforms. However, ‘Big Floppa’ is not your ordinary household cat but actually resides in Russia. Andrei Bondarev, a videographer from Moscow, shared a photo of his “pet” enjoying a meal on Instagram in April 2018. The image of this massive short-haired cat with a prominent elongated nose, striking green eyes, and very long tufted ears quickly went viral and became a sensation on social media sites like Reddit. ‘Big Floppa’ and his two companions, Matvei and Zhora, have become popular bloggers and gained even more fame in 2020 under the name ‘Kot Shlyopa’ or ‘Big Floppa’ due to his impressive ears. However, the cat’s actual name is Gosha, and he belongs to the caracal species, which resembles a lynx in appearance. Although these cats are generally found in Africa, Asia, and India, Gosha was born on December 21, 2017, in a Ukrainian cattery specializing in wild cats.
In April of 2018, he ventured to Moscow and stumbled upon a wonderful new living situation. He found himself welcomed into the Bondarev family, who had long held a fascination with a particular type of wildcat they had seen online. After much preparation and consultation, they finally decided to adopt one, making their dream a reality.
Georgy and his furry companions embarked on a grueling 24-hour minibus journey to Moscow. Upon arrival, Gosha, the latest addition to the feline family, was initially wary of exploring the new apartment. However, with the guidance of Matvei, an elder cat rescued from an animal shelter, Gosha gradually acclimatized to his new surroundings. Zhora, the third cat in the household, was initially unhappy about Gosha’s arrival and shunned both him and their owners for a few weeks. Nevertheless, Zhora eventually warmed up to Gosha, and they are now the best of pals. Although Gosha struggled at first with litter box training, Yelena reassured Georgy that this was typical feline behavior and could be quickly resolved. Despite these challenges, Gosha is still an active and playful kitten.
Yelena takes great care in keeping her caracal, Gosha, healthy by feeding him a balanced diet consisting of turkey, rabbit, and other wholesome ingredients. According to Yelena, Gosha considers her his human and is extremely devoted to her; traits that are often associated with dogs rather than wild cats like him. However, Gosha is a bit timid around strangers and doesn’t appreciate being left alone.
According to Andrei, Georgy has a bit of a problem with aggression. In his spare time, he tends to rip apart the cardboard that Andrei and Yelena give him. Unfortunately, this destructive habit doesn’t stop there – Georgy has also been known to damage furniture and wallpaper.
According to Andrei, his cat Gosha is quite a handful as the mischievous feline has a habit of scratching through walls, leaving deep grooves in the concrete. Although Andrei tried to fix the damage, he eventually gave up due to Gosha’s persistent behavior. Apart from that, the naughty cat scratched their TV while watching Animal Planet. Despite all these destructive tendencies, Gosha became famous on the internet in early 2020 after a photo of him lying on a windowsill with Zhora went viral. This resulted in an outpouring of memes, demotivational posters, and manipulated images which first appeared on meme communities on Instagram before spreading to other social media platforms such as Twitter and Reddit.
Yelena recounted the tale of how they learned about Gosha’s internet fame through a friend of her spouse, who also owned a caracal. Initially, they were delighted to witness Gosha’s increasing popularity and eagerly shared images of him online. Nevertheless, Yelena became troubled upon noticing that Gosha was being exploited in memes that promoted divisive political ideologies or offensive material linked to Nazism, racism, or homophobia. She regards such misuse of Gosha as entirely inappropriate and unacceptable.
A fresh app devoted to Big Floppa was recently launched in the Google Play App Store in 2021. It features Gosha, also known as Gregory, in action with each tap you make. The app has garnered positive feedback from its users and boasts several favorable reviews.
Someone left a comment expressing their love for the game, mentioning how it had enthralling content and even had some moments that made them jump. They were surprised when they clicked on Shlyopa (Floppa) and heard him growl. The game has comprehensive content that doesn’t need any additional features. Yelena brought up concerns about Gosha’s monthly expenses, stating that even though some supporters donate to help other cats, it’s not enough to cover the necessary costs of food and litter, which cost around 20-25,000 rubles ($270-$340).
In addition, the Bondarev household ensures that their furry friend, Gosha, receives regular check-ups and vaccinations from a specialist who deals with wild cats. Although he has a different history compared to other domestic cats, the family treats him as one of their own. However, they are aware that Gosha’s bigger physique requires extra care and attention as injuries sustained during playtime can be more serious compared to smaller felines. Additionally, larger cats have the tendency to cause more damage inside homes. Nonetheless, Yelena emphasizes that despite their size and where they come from, cats are still endearing companions.