Cat Burglar Revealed After 8 Years of Laundry Line Shenanigans

Written by: Kelli Brinegar
For more than five years, Kelli Brinegar has been using her ability to write and her passion for research to tell the tale of what cats are thinking and why. She has provided care to more than 30 cats in her lifetime.Read more
| Published on August 25, 2020

Thomas the cat looks a fine, upstanding tuxedo cat gentleman upon first glance. But, Thomas carries a secret. A burden that’s plagued him and his neighborhood for eight whole years.

You see, Thomas is a klepto kitty.

He can’t help nabbing laundry off the line. It smells so fresh and good, how can a cat resist?

The best part of Thomas’s thievery, in his opinion? He brings home his lifted goods and offers evidence to his family because he loves them. Cat parents know its true, cats love to gift us with the occasional bird or mouse, or in Thomas’s case, the more than an occasional sock. It’s a way for kitties to show love.


But, in the case of stolen laundry, the presents can leave the victim of the cat crime scratching their head in vexation.

And after Thomas went on a two-day thieving binge in which he brought home nine pairs of socks, his family exposed him online in case anybody was fretting about their missing stuff.

A Cat Tale of Purrloined Goods

Thomas’s mom, Fiona Lewis, said when it all began, the items were few and random. She told Kilmarnock Standard, “It would just be the odd thing, like a sock or a teddy.”


“But it’s got more over time. He brings something every day now.”

And it’s more than laundry too. Thomas puts his pilfering paws to work filching toys and gloves too. “He also used to bring back rolls and pitta breads from the shop over the back from us after they got their delivery in the morning.”

Then, there’s the fish. “Next door had a wee fish pond and he took all the fish out and laid them on their door step.”


He’s even turned up with a Dora the Explorer Swiper toy, perfect right?


Because Thomas has been bringing home so many items lately, Fiona and the family decided an Instagram page to display the filched items might be a good idea. Most of the neighbors are aware of Thomas’s criminal nature, but this way they can check when an item goes missing to see if the cat burglar grabbed it.


And to be clear, Thomas is a kind kitty, sharing the things he ‘finds’ with his family and even new neighbors!

“When our next-door neighbour moved in a couple of years ago, the cat left a pair of pants and a sock on her doorstep. She thought it was really strange until she saw him climbing over the back fence with a sock in his mouth,” Fiona explained.

Why the Thievery?

Fiona thinks the clever cat loves to bring things to his people because of the happy reactions to his gifting.  “He loves being praised so when he first brought things we made a fuss of him because he was so happy with himself.”

And probably the best explanation of all one that applies to all cats really? “He just likes being the centre of attention.”


Feature Image: @thomasthewashinglinethief/Instagram