Why do you think people have given the name of ?cat burglar? to talented thieves whose nightly raids are rarely discovered by even the most determined investigators? They?re the bold sort of thieves who come time and time again to victimize the entire community. Homeowners wake to the realization that they?ve been vandalized with irreplaceable valuables taken by one with no regard for others? privacy. You know the kind of valuables we?re talking about?it?s that one glove gone missing, the holy hockey sock, or worn out tennis shoe that?s not where it was when you went to bed the night before. Then there is one burglar suspected of a more kinky crime. He obviously has a fetish for underwear and bikini bottoms. With little hope for recovery of their items, neighbors fear what might be next.
To fight this dastardly criminal, members of the community decide to mount surveillance cameras to catch the cat burglar in the act. A few nights pass with no resolution. Next the neighbors gather to discuss whether it could be someone in their very own neighborhood who knew of their attempt to arrest and prosecute. Alas, not even the best of the best can withstand their vigilance, and everyone is amazed at what they discover in their quiet little California community. It was Dusty all along?Dusty the cat?that is, caught red ?pawed? dragging his loot through the cat flap. His owners, Jim Coleman and Jean Chu had been the recipients of hundreds of Dusty?s offerings throughout the years. Six hundred in total, to include ball caps, towels, bathing suits, garden gloves, underwear, sunglasses, stuffed animals, and a paltry pile of assorted sundry. Some of the stolen goods were too big and cumbersome for Dusty to carry straight through, so he was forced to drop his treasures until he had the strength to continue home. His record take for one evening was 11 different items, going for a shoe or sock and being so brave as to return for the other.
Once caught, Dusty was assigned community service. The entire neighborhood decided to hold a giant yard sale with all the items Dusty had collected, and Dusty had to be the greeter. It seems Dusty?s antics served to unite the neighborhood. He became the talk of the town. In fact, Dusty is now a regular You Tube celebrity.
I once had a black and white cat named Herbie. Herbie was built like a Mac truck, with enough muscle and jaw strength to power one of those 18-wheelers as well. Herbie had very few bad habits for a cat?all except for one thing. He loved to drag dirty underwear from the bathroom hamper to the middle of the living room. We tried everything to keep Herbie out of the bathroom. We closed the door tightly, but Herbie would jump at the doorknob until it twisted and the door eased open. We tried everything but putting a lock on the hamper, and still Herbie managed to pry open the lid, crawl inside, and sneak out a tasty pair of dirty man shorts. Gross, but considering it was the only objection we had with Herbie we tolerated this one nasty obsession.
One evening we had invited a few friends over for dinner. We were all sitting in the living room making shallow conversation when Herbie came down the stairs awkwardly lugging a pair of dirty underwear in his mouth. When he could no longer drag it between his legs, he turned backwards for more leverage and began pulling and yanking it down the last few steps.
The conversation stopped and everybody shifted their eyes from Herbie to my husband. Herbie was so proud of what he had captured; there was just no hiding his prize. He dropped the underwear right in the middle of the floor and then began panting from what we thought then was his strenuous achievement. I now realize that Herbie?s panting was probably the reaction of trying to save the scent far up in some glands located on the roof of a cat?s mouth. Through the act of panting, a cat can enhance and savor scents. Although we were so embarrassed, we learned a difficult lesson from Herbie?s behavior that night. We had a choice to make. We were either never going to be able to change our underwear, or we would have to find a way to secure the hamper. The ladder being the best option, we put the hamper in the garage and made sure the deadbolt prevented any more surprises from the great hunter.
I didn?t hold it against Herbie. He was really one of my favorite cats. In fact, he was a star in my eyes, which goes to prove IF YOU?RE A CAT YOU CAN?.