5 min read

Cat Won't Stop Stealing Strangers' Clothes — And It's Making Things Awkward

"There is the issue of the undergarments ..."

This is Bella — a long-haired tabby cat with a very sweet and affectionate spirit. For the past 10 years, Bella has been a delightful companion to her owner, Shawn Bell, simply by being her loving self.

Not long ago, however, she began to reveal one not-so-positive aspect of her feline personality.

Shawn R. Bell

Turns out, Bella's a thief.

Shawn R. Bell

Bella's foray into a life of crime seemed to have begun spontaneously last summer. One day, much to Bell's surprise, he noticed his cat arriving to their home in Vancouver, Canada, carrying a sock. The next day, she brought home another. The day after that, yet more socks.

On the fourth day, Bella came in carrying a child's drawing, apparently just to mix things up a bit.

Here's a photo of the cat's first haul:

Shawn R. Bell

Where those items had come from was anyone's guess, though Bell was sure of one thing: They weren't his. Bella had presumably stolen them while out on her evening prowls. And she didn't stop there.

That summer, Bell filled half a garbage bag with purloined clothes. But in recent months, Bella's thieving ways have only increased.

Shawn R. Bell

"She used to just come home with one piece of clothing per night," Bell told The Dodo. "Now she is coming home with two or three a night — or more."

And all those stolen clothes have been really piling up.

Shawn R. Bell

Bell has posted signs around his apartment building in hopes of reuniting the garments with their rightful owners, but to no avail.

He's been piling them up on a chair outside his place, just in case someone recognizes their stuff.

Shawn R. Bell

The whole thing has Bell feeling sorta guilty — and a little uncomfortable.

"It sucks to have to keep buying clothes if they keep going missing," he said. "Then there is the issue of the undergarments and her starting to make me look a bit weird."

That's right. Bella's been stealing people's unmentionables, too.

Shawn R. Bell

Bell hopes that, as word spreads about his cat's ill-gotten gains, the person or persons Bella has been stealing from will come forward to reclaim their laundry.

The cat, meanwhile, has yet to see the error in her saddling her owner with stolen goods.

"I think she’s proud of herself," Bell said. "But she’s not picking the right size or the right gender for me."

Still, Bell admits he adores Bella regardless.

Shawn R. Bell

"She’s my girl no matter how bad her behavior is," Bell said. "I guess she has my unconditional love, even though she’s a kleptomaniac."