Masks. Gloves. Spiderman kneepads. Fabric scraps. One camera. A taxidermy bat.
Those are just some of the items that Kate Felmet’s cat, Esme, has stolen from neighbors over the past couple of years.
Ever since Felmet adopted Esme, the feline used her gatherer tendencies and would come home with all kinds of gifts for her family. When she was an indoor cat, Esme started small and would carry fabric pieces and doll clothes around the house. On her first ventures into the outside world, she graduated to retrieving plastic bags and pieces of paper.
Over time, Esme’s hunts became more advanced and she started to curate specific items. At the start of the pandemic, she began bringing back timely items for her family, including plenty of face masks. One by one, she’d retrieve masks of all sorts from the neighborhood, at one point bringing 11 masks back home in one single day.
“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,” Felmet, 50, told TODAY.
Case in point, when Felmet was painting her daughter’s bedroom, Esme would bring back rolls of tape and paint roller covers. Another time, when she was making Halloween costumes for her kids, Esme brought home three separate lengths of fabric. to help with the construction of the garments.
Esme took a brief break from her scavenger hunts during the rainy winter, resuming once spring broke and Felmet began gardening. Being the considerate cat she is, Esme began stealing gardening gloves, bringing back one glove at a time, but always matching pairs.
After committing her “petty” crimes in her neighborhood for a year, Felmet finally posted a sign in her yard and fessed up to her cat’s tendencies. Next to a clothesline littered with pairs of stolen gloves and masks, Felmet posted up a sign with a drawing of Esme carrying a single glove in her mouth, reading, “My cat is a thief. Please take these items if they are yours.”