independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

'Cat burglar' targets neighbours

A cat's habits have intensified and he has now pinched sports bras, support pants, jumpers, T-shirts, boxer shorts and even a bath mat

The owners of a notorious cat burglar are hoping to reunite some of his ill-gotten gains with the rightful owners.

Naughty Norris, a two-year-old tabby cat, has been prowling the North Street area of Bedminster in Bristol.

In the past year, Norris has brought home items such as bits of food and dishcloths, dusters and dust mitts.

But the cat's habits have intensified and he has now pinched sports bras, support pants, jumpers, T-shirts, boxer shorts and even a bath mat.

Add to that half a pizza, an unopened tube of gravy paste and a German sausage.

If Norris cannot get his swag through the cat flap at home, he leaves it on the mat in the backyard.

His embarrassed owners, Richard and Sophie Windsor, believe that Norris is taking items hanging from washing lines in the local area.

They have now written to their neighbours apologising for their thieving feline's nocturnal habits.

Their letter says: "Dear neighbours,

"This is a slightly embarrassing note to have to write but during his travels throughout the neighbourhood, our cat, Norris, has brought back an assortment of items.

"Unlike most cats, Norris isn't too interested in the local wildlife but has taken to straight up theft. In some cases he's literally been there and got the T-shirt.

"At first, when it was the odd dish cloth, it was fairly amusing, but recently his habit has intensified and we now have a growing pile of stolen goods which need returning to you good people of Bedminster.

"We have a range of T-shirts, jumpers, slippers, socks, oven gloves, bath mats and boxers.

"If you've 'misplaced' anything of any monetary value and would like it returned then please give us a nudge on (email) or (telephone number).

"We'll have a dig through his growing hoard and drop them back to you.

"Apologies if you've been affected.

"Best wishes, Rich and Soph."

Mr Windsor, 26, a graphic designer, told the Bristol Post: "At first it was just the odd thing, but over the last four months, he has really started to up his game.

"So far we have been able to reunite a number of items with their owners including a towel set, some oven gloves, a bath mat, some baby clothes and some running gear.

"Fortunately all our neighbours have been very good-natured about it and think it's funny."

An animal expert said Norris's kleptomaniacal tendencies stem from cats' evolution.

Maggie Roberts, Cats Protection's director of veterinary services, said: "The reason why cats bring objects back to their owner's house dates back to their evolutionary origins.

"The domestic cat evolved from the African wild cat whose territory was very large but always included a safe core area where it would take its prey, and this is how the domestic cats view their owner's house.

"Most of the objects they find mimic their quarry in some way by their texture, such as the feathers of a shuttlecock or the fluttering movement of leaves and bank notes."

Press Association

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