The Original Cat Burglars Unveiled

Tucked in between “news articles” about alien abductions and man-eating butterflies on the World News Daily Report, I found this gem hidden away.   Long story short, it claims that an elderly lady trained her cats to steal jewelry from her neighbors; the epitome of “cat burglars.”

click photo for story

I admit, there is a part of me that wishes this was a true story.  I could absolutely get on board with training my cats to do cool things other than bringing me dead bugs. Let’s face it, though; cats only do what they want to do, and it always involves a smug, self-serving attitude and a “what’s in it for me” end goal.

I can see me, 20 years from now, in full Crazy Cat Lady mode.  I’d train my cats to do things like weed my garden, mow my lawn, put away the dishes, and fold the laundry.  In my fantasy, I am the ruler of the roost, the commander of the cats, the kitty whisperer.  The truth is, I live to serve my cats.  They have me so well trained that I respond to the smallest puking noises they make, even from a dead sleep.  I have given all of my furniture to them to use as thrones, perches, or beds.  I believe all of the cat food commercials I see, and my cats eat better than I do.  I clean litter boxes religiously and keep lint rollers to clean off the clothing that my cats allow me to wear when they aren’t using it as a bed.

On that note, the article makes me laugh when it references that these cats were voluntarily malnourished; apparently, according to the report, they deliberately made themselves seem skinny and underfed so that people would take them in to their homes to feed them.  After the neighbors opened their hearts and homes to the skeletal felines, the cats would abscond with anything of value.  Only then would the elderly cat-keeper reward them with food.

Really?  If I tried to train my cats this way, they would laugh at me.  “What’s in it for me? Better make it worth my while. And don’t even think about not feeding us, we know where the treats are. More important, we know where you sleep.”

Now I have no doubt that a cat COULD think of this clever scheme.  The only thing that keeps cats from taking over the world is the lack of opposable thumbs.  But would they really want to?  And perhaps therein lies the real reason cats don’t rule world…they simply can’t be bothered.

Let’s review the cons against this whole organized feline crime spree:

  • The scheme cuts into the most important time of the day: Nap time.  That rare 20 out of 24 hours they spend napping would suffer if they were involved in such a time-consuming racket.
  • Ignoring humans: The burglary idea would definitely require freely interacting with humans for something other than dinner, and seriously, what cat wants that?
  • Movement: To fully realize the potential of this scheme, cats would have to move.  More than from one end of the bed to the other.  This is an instant disqualifier.
  • Potentially uncovering plans to rule the world: Cats cannot have their plot revealed.  While it is no secret that cats plan to take over the world, the exact plans cannot be revealed until the perfect time.
  • A drop in Facebook and You Tube ratings: The cat community doesn’t like to talk about it, but it thrives on internet ratings.  If cats are implicated in robberies, it’s very possible that cute kitten video viewings will drop to dangerously low levels, resulting in a complete breakdown of the internet as we know it today.

Now, let’s review the reasons cats would voluntarily choose to do something, heck anything, at all:


Lastly, let’s consider the odds of a cat being trained by a human to do something that he does not already want to do:


As much as I wish this story could be true, I think this will forever be relegated to the land of satire.

And that’s probably a good thing.

Inside is the New Outside

The Queen ne’er-do-well scans her realm for interlopers and contemplates the vast kingdom that is hers. From inside. Where it’s warm. Because it’s cold as hell Alaska out there. Or maybe even Antarctica. And who wants that?

boy, those squirrels look cold. stupid squirrels.


where’s my snack, servant?

Friend Therapy

My dog Petra, I may have mentioned before, loves to burrow under blankets, or anything really. It’s her thing. Petra is not the bravest soul in the universe — with good reason, her life before coming to us was not the best. To make a long story short, burrowing under a blanket, preferably her own, makes her feel safe and comforted, and it has the added effect of being completely adorable. My house is full of blankets. They’re on the couch, the chairs, in the corner by the bookshelf, in a box (just as an aside, it was NOT my idea to keep this Amazon box indefinitely, but the animals — cats and dogs alike, have taken a liking to it, so I figured, what the hell), and in the dogs’ beds. Whew. That’s a lot of dog blankets.

Not being particularly smart, or perhaps not realizing, even after all this time, the depths of Petra’s need to burrow, I washed ALL of the blankets at once this past week. The drama that ensued…the whining, the whimpering, the crying…as this dog searched the house for a blanket was a sight to behold. I almost sat down and cried myself. I felt guilty. I felt stupid for not thinking to leave out one blanket. I felt bad for making Petra sad and uncomfortable. And then, I felt stupid for feeling all of the above.

In comes Rufus to the rescue. Rufus the Invincible.  He didn’t like that Petra was nervous and whimpering. He didn’t like that at all. I don’t know if he understood why. He couldn’t care less for blankets, but he does have favorite toys — and knows where they are at all times, so maybe he did understand her discomfort. At any rate, he swooped in and saved the day. As an aside, I must state here that Rufus and Petra love each other, they play and hang out and are always concerned about each other, but they like their own space. Rufus especially. They don’t lay together or sleep together…they never share the same bed (they’re much too prim and proper). But one afternoon this past week, when Mom was dumb enough to wash all of the blankets at once (a day that will go down in infamy, let me tell you), Rufus let Petra join him in his favorite bed, and there she stayed, comforted by his presence.

And I learned a good lesson: that in the future, one blanket would always get washed separately…so this horrible day will never be repeated.

dogs in bed together2

Rufus was giving me the side-eye because he was not happy with my laundry choices or my decision to immortalize the event on film (okay, it was really just my phone, but you get the idea)

Things that go bump in the night

I mean, honestly…is it a dog or a four-legged ninja. Sometimes I wonder. Or maybe it’s one of those ghosts from Paranormal Activity that shows up with a sheet over its “head,” but when the sheet is removed, lo and behold, there’s nothing there, and that’s when everyone watching loses their sh…well, you know. I’ll admit, I wasn’t brave enough to go that far to see if that would happen in this case. Seriously, who wants to piss off demons when you don’t have to?And considering that the blanket made its way back to its bed after getting a drink left me thinking that whatever was underneath was too sleepy to cause any real ghostly damage. I can’t say that’s a bad thing.

Hide-and-seek skill level: expert



Canine Symphony in C

Back in the day, I had a wonderful dog, a Shih Tzu named Boopers. I loved her to pieces. Among her many attributes (not least of which, was just being a smart, loyal, loving companion), she was a great watch dog. She might not have physically been able to do anything about a person breaking in, like attack anything except his ankles and maybe his calves, but she was phenomenal about alerting us to possible Ninja intruders. Which, when you think about it, was really her job…the job of any small dog, actually. They’re the alarm system and either the larger dog, or you, as the human of the house, are supposed to do the rest.

Boopers was especially good at her job. She could tell the difference in cat noises permeating the darkness throughout the inner sanctum of the house…of which there were many in the night due to our own personal zoo. She could tell if the noises outside were “normal” noises, like an owl on the roof, or a squirrel scurrying across the deck, or maybe the neighbors coughing a bit too loudly out on their own back porch. Hey, what can I say? Sound travels here. So, when she barked, or worse, growled deep in her throat, you knew…you just knew…you had to get up to look to see what was going on to cause a disturbance in the force. She was trustworthy and reliable, and an amazing alarm system.

The dogs I have now? Not so much. If so much as a leaf blows across the yard three doors down, they bark. If the neighbor next door sneezes deep within the realm of her kitchen, they bark. If they hear a car that’s just a tad bit too loud in the exhaust system somewhere out there in the neighborhood, they bark. Maybe the couple two streets over slam a door in the midst of their argument debate over “Star Wars vs Star Trek.” Yep, you guessed it. They bark.

Sometimes, I think these dogs bark just to hear themselves bark. And once one loses it, the other one loses it, and then the cacophony is truly a thing to behold.

“What are you barking at!? What’s going on!? Where’s the danger? Let me at it!” 

“I don’t know, I just thought maybe I heard something but then I started barking and it sounded cool, so I kept doing it!”

“Oh wow, that’s a fantastic idea, I think I’ll bark too and then we’ll both be barking!? How cool is that??”

“Hey, that’s awesome! We can get into sync so there’s absolutely no lag time and all the human will hear is constant ear-splitting yaps in completely different timbres!”

“Why do you think she’s holding her ears and looking fierce?”

“I don’t know…maybe she just can’t stand the symphony that is our high-pitched barking because it’s simply too awe-inducing and lovely beyond words. We should bark louder!”

I love Petra and Rufus beyond belief, of that, there is no doubt in the world. But when these 2:00 a.m. concerts come around to awaken me from a dead-sleep, I sure do miss my Boopers.