A savvy street cat from Belarus seems to be raking in the rubles by begging passing pedestrians for loose change and spare banknotes.

Cat Street Beggar Plucks Pedestrians' Heartstrings, Wallets

Times are tough in the former soviet republic of Belarus, so tough that even pets are putting their paws and playing to pedestrians' sense of charity. Well, OK, at least ONE pet has hit the mean streets but if word of his success spreads, he won't be the only one.

Snapped by a passerby in an unnamed Belorussian city, the furry beggar is a calm, cool and collected character... with the emphasis on “collected”.

Cat Street Beggar Plucks Pedestrians' Heartstrings, Wallets

Resting comfortably on a bed of padding topped with a faux leopard fur throw, the down-on-his-luck critter displays a hand-written sign (presumably authored by his owner) that reads “need money for meat and fish, bless you”.  

He may not look like Puss in Boots from the Shrek films but the cat's got a way of melting cold Belorussian hearts. The proof is in the pudding: check out that pile of notes and coins! The only thing that might cause him worry is a rising wind.

Cat Street Beggar Plucks Pedestrians' Heartstrings, Wallets

The cat is a rescue, according to the elderly woman who claims to own the begging cat. She was happy to save him from a euthanasia shelter but as she already had several pets, she was forced to put him to work earning his keep on the street. Watch out, lady, at this rate the cat will buy his own house and put YOU on the street. (via English Russia)