Thieving cat has eye for babies' clothing

02:30, May 28 2014
Rascal the thieving cat
MIND YOUR BELONGINGS: Aptly named Christchurch cat Rascal, left, and his sister, and possible partner-in-crime, Mischief.

A thieving Christchurch moggy has joined New Zealand's klepto-cat hall of fame.

Helen Cooper is at a loss as to how to find the owners of the babies' face cloth, pair of socks, scarf and knitted cardigan Rascal brought home.

The 41-year-old Beckenham woman said the black-and-white moggy's thieving started at the end of last year.

''The first thing was a little baby's face cloth, then it was a pair of socks - not just one, a pair, and then it was a scarf, which is quite a nice North Face one,'' she said.

Cooper found a "wee baby's cardigan" under her dining room table last weekend, which ''really tipped it over''.

''It looks very lovingly knitted and I'm sure it would be missed," she said.


Cooper asked her neighbours if they were missing any items, but drew blanks.

''I have had cats for years and I have never come across it before. I'm scared what he's going to bring home next. It's all very perplexing,'' she said.

''I want to nip it in the bud. I don't want people to be cruel or horrible to my cats or any other cats who come onto their properties.''

Other apprehended cat criminals in New Zealand's history books include Loki, Zeus, Pluto, Skitz and Gus.

In Taranaki, a bra-stealing feline of unknown identity is still at large.


Marlborough klepto-cat Loki developed a penchant for matching socks.

Loki's owner Rachel Gifford told The Marlborough Express he would sometimes return to the scene of the crime to complete a pair.

Her cat also pinched a dog's leash once.

''The doorstop and the dog leash are definitely the strangest things he has bought home,'' she said.

The family hung stolen items on a clotheshorse outside their home so victims could collect their property.


Auckland woman Julie Kennedy thought her son's friends were leaving clothes at her house.

Then it became apparent; Zeus and Pluto were sneaking around Pakuranga stealing them from the unsuspecting.

Kennedy told the Eastern Courier she'd wake up in the morning to a sock or a T-shirt half-pulled through the cat flap.

''I think they are going into other people's laundries [and] most of it is dirty. I have had the odd pair of undies and I don't like picking those up,'' she said.


Thieving Clyde cat Skitz had a taste for teddy bears, dolls and anything ''pretty''.

Bob Lines told The Southland Times his daughter's cat had collected an ''embarrassing'' amount of items.

Skitz would bring home anything he could drag in, from newspapers to dresses.

''We have at least 15 brand-new teddy bears,'' Lines said.

The strangest thing the cat had stolen was a newspaper from the 1920s.


Shoes were Invercargill moggy Gus' bounty of choice.

The cat's owner Meredith Kelly told The Southland Times she was unsure how to stop him.

''At first I thought it was a bit funny, then a bit weird [and] now it has gone too far,'' she said.

Gus had flogged more than 60 shoes, newspapers, rugby magazines and clothing.

Kelly said Gus was always proud of his catch, announcing it with a morning meow.

The Press