A new year, and new calendars. This one is really interesting.
....[I]n Russia ....a pin-up calendar featuring well-known priests with their cats ....has caused a stir. Despite the Russian Orthodox Church’s stern reputation, the calendar makes the clergymen, who are shown smiling in the warm embrace of their feline friends, look all, well, warm and fuzzy (in some cases with the help of their own long hair and beards). The calendar—the title of which translates roughly as Padre and Kitty—was created by the writer Xenia Loutchenko and the photographer Anna Galperina, who recently published a book about contemporary church life across Russia. Artos, an association of Christian artists, published the calendar. Loutchenko wrote in a Facebook post that the calendar is “our response to Calendario Romano (featuring handsome Catholic priests) and I Gatti di Roma (featuring Roman cats).” While the Russian Orthodox clergymen look slightly scruffier than their Catholic calendar counterparts, they stand out for their big hearts. Archpriest Pyotr Dynnikov, who is pictured with two of his cats, Angola and Vasik, runs an animal shelter at his church that is home to 30 dogs and 30 cats.