— Barbi Twins Kitties (@KittyLibFront) March 2, 2015
Russian writer and actress Elena Lenina had a white kitten painted bright pink to match her outfit for an all-pink party last September. Now the Daily Mail and Metro are reporting the kitten has died of blood poisoning as a result of the pink paint. Sad, horrible, and tragic. Also, not true!
After the tabloid press started spreading the dead kitten rumor over the weekend, ginning up more than 30,000 petitioners who wanted Lenina jailed on animal cruelty charges, Lenina replied on social media with current photos of the cat (whose name is Nana). Nana appears to be living happily (and slightly less pink-ly) with her new owners:
Не хотите ли извиниться? Цитата с сайта Dni.ru (1.03.15): " Стали известны новые подробности о скандальном известно… pic.twitter.com/EEDN0f2ee4
— ELena Lenina (@ElenaLenina) March 1, 2015
"Would you like to apologize?" she wrote on Instagram, pointing to an article on Dni.ru that debunks the dead cat hoax. The story quotes Nana's current caretaker, Regina—girlfriend of restauranteur Bari Karimovich, who got the cat from Lenina's friend, music producer Bari Alibasov—saying that no journalist actually contacted her to verify whether the kitten was still alive.
"It's sad that people believe everything written in the yellow press, which did not even check the information," she said. "Very sorry for Lena, who didn't want to go to jail for my living and healthy cat."
The scandal had apparently already blown over once in Russia, where Lenina appeared on Russia 1's talk show Live back in September to show that the kitten—then still rather pink—was doing just fine despite the dye-job. Artist Yuri Kuklachev, who the Daily Mail and Metro both cite as criticizing Lenina, actually apologized to her on the show.
Lenina told Dni.ru that her lawyers were looking into defamation cases against the outlets that accused her of killing the cat.