If you own a cat, you know that one of their unusual habits is to give you “presents.” They might be our housepets, but cats still have some predator survivor instincts, which is why they’ll occasionally drop a dead bird or mouse at your feet — they’re just trying to provide for you.
But one cat started giving her owner more practical gifts, like gloves and masks — the only problem is, they’re all stolen from people in the neighborhood!
Now, her attempt to make things right — and apologize for her thieving cat — has gone viral, with a hilarious display of this kitty’s stolen loot.
Kate Felmet, from Beaverton, Oregon, is the owner of a black cat named Esme. Like many cats, Esme would bring home “gifts” for her family, but Kate says she trained the cat from bringing home dead birds by encouraging her to bring home anything else instead.
“Each time she brings something, she comes to the back door and yowls in a very distinctive and harsh way until I come to tell her she has done a good job,” Kate told Insider.
But last year, Esme started wandering around on her own, and would return with items like gloves and face masks.
And strangely, it began to seem like Esme was bringing home gifts with her family in mind, the owners told Today. Kate is an ICU doctor, so it seemed like the cat was bringing her masks to protect her from the pandemic.
Kate also said that when she started gardening as a hobby, Esme suddenly started bringing her pairs of gardening gloves. When she started making Halloween costumes for her kids, Esme started bringing home fabric.
“She has some sort of uncanny ability to bring on stuff that has to do with what we’re doing at the time,” Esme told Today.
While the cat seemed to have good intentions, and her new gifts were a big improvement over dead birds and trash, it also became clear that Esme must’ve been stealing these items from people. Kate began to feel bad for all the neighbors suddenly missing gloves thanks to her mischievous cat.
So, she decided to offer them back… putting all of Esme’s stolen goods on a clothing rack, so people could reclaim their stuff.
“My cat is a thief,” a handmade sign explains, with a drawing of Esme with a glove in her mouth.
Kate wrote on Facebook that her stolen goods include “nine pairs of gloves, two singles, two cloth masks, a running belt and a ball of string.”
The photo of the sign in front of a clothesline full of stolen items has gone viral — anyone who’s ever had a kleptomaniac cat like this can relate. But Kate says that neighbors have taken up the offer, coming by to pick up their stolen goods.
“A few things have gone back,” Kate told Today. “The neighbors in my community know where to look for their stuff.”
“They mostly seem amused,” she told Insider. “But it’s kind of awkward with the family from whom Esme has stolen the same pair of kneepads out of their garage three times.”
What a funny story. Cats can definitely get into some troublemaking habits, but we love them anyway.