Esme the cat has a bad habit of stealing from her neighbors. The feline has stolen everything from gloves to face masks to a running belt. In order to reunite the items with their rightful owners, Esme’s owner, Kate Felmet, erected a sign in her yard announcing, “My cat is a thief.”
Next to the sign, Felmet hangs the stolen items on a clothing line. The sign instructs people to take the items that are theirs.
“They mostly seemed amused,” Felmet told Insider of her neighbors in Beaverton, Oregon. “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.”
Check out the cheeky sign in the picture Felmet posted to her Facebook page:
Before Esme ventured outdoors, she used to hunt for items around her home, gathering fabric pieces and doll clothes for her family. She then graduated to picking up paper and plastic bags outdoors. She has also brought Felmet birds. She usually brings home an average of one “gift” per day, and during the pandemic, she once snatched up 11 face masks in one day.
Thankfully, the sign has been somewhat successful in getting items back to their owners.
“A few things have gone back,” Felmet told NBC’s “Today.” “The neighbors in my community know where to look for their stuff.”
For her part, Esme seems pretty pleased with her retrievals as well.
“The gloves have mostly replaced Esme’s bird hunting,” Felmet told “Today.” “She knows that she gets praise for bringing home gloves, and she knows she doesn’t get praise for bringing home birds.”
When Esme returns with her latest offering, she meows to let Felmet know she has another catch.
“If I’m working nights in a row, she’ll come to show me or I’ll come downstairs and say, ‘Good job, Esme.’ I feel like there’s no question that Esme requires my attention.”