Dusty the cat burglar steals neighborhood belongings, brings them home
Dusty is a busy cat.
He's stolen hundreds of things from neighborhood residents, including shoes, cleaning sponges, stuffed animals — even unmentionables — and brought them home to his owners.
Until recently, there was no video proof of his nighttime dealings, until a surveillance camera was installed just outside the front door to the home that he shares with his family. His owner, Jean Chu of San Mateo, Calif. isn't sure why Dusty does this, but he seems to enjoy it.
There have been other reports of klepto-kitties exhibiting the same kind of behavior; one cat in Australia — Gus — started bring leaves, bark chips and the occasional newspaper to his owner, Meredith Kelly of Melbourne. But last month, Kelly notes that the behavior had escalated to him showing up, with articles of clothing and shoes in tow.
Usually, he brings the items into the house, but if they are too cumbersome to fit through the kitty-door, Gus, who is two, leaves them on the step outside.
Light-fingered felines are more common than you think.The behavior, called "collecting" by some, likely stems from inherent prey-retrieval behavior. The type of collecting behavior exhibited varies by the individual cat, influenced by the gender of the cat and the motivation behind the behavior.
Most of us with cats of both genders have had the sometimes not-so-delightful experience of our four-legged friends deliver a freshly-killed mouse or chipmunk to our feet. These "gifts," as they are intended, are expressions of endearment.
As you'll see in the following video, the number and type of "gifts" that Dusty has regularly taken home has clearly gotten out of control.
Lorrie Shaw is lead pets blogger for AnnArbor.com and wrote "The bucket list for pets: What does your dog want to do before he dies?". Follow her daily adventures on Twitter as a professional pet sitter and dog walker in the Ann Arbor area. She welcomes your contact via e-mail.