77: Neighborhood Cat Burglar

77: Neighborhood Cat Burglar

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Very Good, Very Bad Cat

Neighborhood Cat Burglar

Fun fact: Bengals, Munchkins, Pixiebobs and American Bobtails are more likely to be attracted to shiny objects and steal them.

Who is three years old and has red hair and extra large toes on his front paws, which aid him in his kleptomania? Our neighbor’s cat, fast-fingered Uther Pendragon (named in honor of King Arthur’s father) alias Klepto Kitty, has everyone laughing but his owners!

His pet parent, Preston, is an artist who understands creativity, but what his cat does goes way past creativity into the art of criminology. As good parents, Preston and his wife, Barbara, raised their children to be model citizens, but they never expected their cat to become a delinquent and go “a stray,” becoming the neighborhood’s cat burglar. What led Uther into this life of crime is a mystery.

“This has being going on for years!” laments Barbara with a hint of a smile. “We wake up to various stolen articles — washcloths, tea towels, children’s hats, dog toys, lots of socks — but Uther specializes in gloves. After breakfast, he goes back through his cat door and returns with the matching glove to the one he stole before breakfast! He has misappropriated dozens of matching pairs. His thievery is a full-time job!”

“Uther may be smarter than we give him credit for, as none of what he stalks and brings home fights back — so he is never clawed or injured. If a neighbor leaves anything outside that fits into Uther’s mouth, he claims it and carries it home. The oddest thing is that when I am gardening and lay down my gloves Uther is not the least bit interested in them.”

Their other cat is a shy, innocent black female. Thank goodness she is a “normal” cat and in no way Uther’s accomplice. Sometimes, Uther tries to look innocent and blame Natalie for items that mysteriously show up… but we have his number! He can’t fool us with those big yellow eyes.

Uther knows about cat doors, so Barbara’s greatest fear is that one day her thief is going to expand his territory, house-breaking through neighbors’ cat doors. Then what? What if his keen senses help him pull off a daring heist, and he carries home expensive, sparkly items? Then she and Preston might be in legal trouble. Imagine explaining “what the cat dragged in” to a judge and jury!

Uther is a Humane Society rescue. He appeared to be a gem at the time. Little did they know he would grow into a cat burglar. He was neutered as a kitten to stop him from roving after female felines, but how can they stop this kind of extracurricular criminal activity?

Preston sacrificed one of his artist easels to help alleviate the guilt of owning and feeding, i.e. enabling, the neighborhood’s cat burglar. Preston attached three crossbars to the easel and glued on a dozen clothespins to display the cat’s loot. The easel sits at the end of their driveway, adorned with gloves, socks, and other purr-loined items for the neighbors to retrieve.

“The oddest thing,” said Barbara, “is when three understanding neighbors came by to collect items off our ‘wall/easel of shame.’ They mentioned that, at one time, they too had an orange cat that stole from neighbors!” Do you think the theft gene and his feline-onius behavior is in the orange cat’s DNA? If so, it is a good thing Uther was neutered.

The sign above the loot-filled easel reads:

Please retrieve your things.

Our cat collects what you leave out.

He is a Cat Burglar!

Check back often.

SORRY.

Like the rest of our neighbors, we have learned that when things “disappear,” we’d better take a walk over to Barbara and Preston’s house and check out their easel!

~Mary Ellen Angelscribe

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