Bridge engineers are on schedule to connect Crimea to the Russian mainland by the end of the month, making it possible for workers to walk across the 19 km-long bridge on foot.
Mostik, the unofficial cat mascot of the ambitious bridge project, plans to be among the first to do so. Mostik's name is a play on 'most', the Russian word for bridge.
"I'm building the Kerch Strait Bridge to be the first to make a selfie on it and to visit all the sights of Crimea," Mostik tells his social media followers.
Mostik, a former stray kitten taken in by builders and made the Kerch bridge project's unofficial mascot in 2015, has a major following on social media, garnering nearly 20,000 followers on his Instagram and Facebook accounts, and the Russian social networking platform VKontakte.
The honorary 'chief supervisor' of the construction site has his own personal photographer. He's also regularly driven around the construction site by a man named Mikhalych, inspecting progress made and allowing his followers to get the inside scoop on the current stage of the project.
On his days off, Mikhalych takes Mostik home, where he behaves like an ordinary cat and sleeps on his favorite red couch, the Crimean Bridge Information Center explained to Sputnik's sister agency RIA Novosti.
No one knows for sure when the orange and white cat was born, but workers choose to celebrate his birthday on November 29, the professional holiday of bridge builders in Russia. Last month, the cat celebrated his second birthday, and received a delicious bowl of shrimp from the builders.
"Of course, Mostik celebrated his birthday with friends, and he has a lot of them," the Crimean Bridge Information Center explained. "This includes Valera the seagull, who helps him from the air, Tsygan the dog, who has already learn how to bring building materials to workers, Bartholomew the cormorant, who's just a good friend of Mostik's, and Lizaveta the fox and her cubs."
During workdays, Mostik lives at a checkpoint onsite, and greets workers and engineers as they arrive for their shifts. Among the estimated 7,000 people working on the project, everyone is familiar with the mascot.
Catching some flack from followers for not always wearing a hardhat on the job, Mostik replied that his "natural agility" allows him to move around the site without a helmet.
Workers say they're planning to find Mostik a bride from the Crimean side of the Kerch peninsula, although his social media accounts have also been inundated with pictures of willing partners from the Russian mainland.
Users have asked Mostik what his plans are for when the bridge's construction wraps up in 2019. "This is something I haven't yet decided on, but every day I receive interesting offers. I'll decide following a vacation when the construction project of the century wraps up," was the cat's official reply.
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When completed, the Kerch Strait Bridge will become the longest bridge in Russia. Road traffic is expected to start next December, with rail traffic starting a year later, in the summer of 2019.