Mom Unmasks Her Kitty As The Neighborhood Cat Burglar

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 June 29, 2021

Okay, we love kitties, but we know our purrecious angels can be a bit trying at times. Simply put, cats love getting into mischief. This troublesome streak is just one of the million reasons we love cats. That said, making amends for our felines can be a little tricky sometimes.

Ask cat mom Kate Felmet. She’ll tell you how much she loves her cat, Esme, but she’ll also mention the steps she’s recently had to take in returning the scads of stuff her darling kitty stole from their neighbors. And her solution to righting her cat’s wrongs has proven to be both clever and funny.

Esme began her career as a cat burglar with small steals in the house. First, it was doll clothes and fabric scraps Esme gifted her mother. Soon though, she started bringing back bags and paper from her sojourns outside. She also brought dead bird gifts too.

“My mom is an avid bird-watcher and was quite distressed, so I began to praise Esme for anything she brought me that wasn’t a bird,” explained Kate in an interview with Insider. “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.”

Relevant Thievery

Elated with her mom’s praise, Esme wanted to be helpful, so she started bringing home items she knew her family needed. When she saw everyone donning face masks at the start of the pandemic, Esme started carrying them home in order to help keep her humans safe! During one of her robbing sprees, Esme hauled home 11 masks in one day!

As Kate told Today, “I’m an ICU doc, so we were worried about my safety but it does seem like she has some sort of uncanny ability to bring on stuff that has to do with what we’re doing at the time.”

The face masks weren’t the only demonstration of Esme understanding her family’s needs. As Today reported, seeing her family painting a bedroom, Esme went right out and gathered duct tape and paint rollers. And beyond home improvement, this thoughtful cat enjoys helping with the holidays, too. Watching Kate making Halloween costumes, Esme thieved strips of fabric to help build the best costumes ever!

Gloves, Gloves, and More Gloves

When spring settled upon their Oregon home, Esme’s kleptomania turned to gardening gloves when she understood her mom would be spending time in the yard with plants. Ever the helpful kitty, Esme started with the gloves, bringing one at a time, but always completing the set on a second run. And it’s not just adult gloves getting filched. Kate revealed, “She even brings child-size gloves for my kids.”

Maybe Esme steals so many gloves because she approves of her mom’s gardening. It does bring Kate and the kids outside, and cats who spend time outdoors seem to enjoy having their humans join them in the sun! Whatever her reason for thieving gloves, Esme’s habit left Kate with 14 pairs in just one week.

To Insider, Kate explained, “I thought that if I didn’t do something about it I’d be swamped by the end of the summer.”

What to Do About A Klepto Kitty

Kate tried knocking on doors to return Esme’s loot, but with the sheer number of items, that got tricky. So, Kate got creative and strung a clothesline in her yard where she displayed all the stuff. She also posted a sign with an adorable likeness of Esme carrying a glove, reading, “My cat is a thief. Please take these items if they are yours.”

So far, about ten pairs of gloves, several face masks, and even a running belt have been claimed. Kate notices pieces gone from the line here and there, but one of her favorite claiming moments?

“There was a school bus that drove by and the guy got out and got a few things,” Kate told Today.

And how do the neighbors feel about the klepto cat in their neighborhood?

“They mostly seem amused,” Kate admitted to 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.”

And that’s life with cats! But Esme isn’t the only feline with sticky paws. Meet Jordan, the master cat burglar who has 80+ shoes under his paw.

Feature Image: Kate Felmet/Facebook