'Klepto Kitty Syndrome' Spreads to Switzerland
Dusty, the California cat with a penchant for stealing everything from underwear to shoes, apparently has a Swiss apprentice.
Margrit Geiger of Wiesendangen, Switzerland, says that up until three years ago, her cat Speedy exercised his predatory instincts in the typical feline way. But then, in an effort to impress Geiger's teenage son, the cat began stealing badminton shuttlecocks.
Shortly after that, Speedy began stealing gloves, scarves and T-shirts. His latest obsession, however, is underwear and black socks.
In an interview with the Swiss daily Blick, Geiger said the cat has pilfered more than 100 items.
"[He] carries everything through a hole in the shed, through the attic, straight to my son Daniel's room," she said. "Daniel is [his] absolute favorite person." Once [he] drops off what [he] stole, Speedy doesn't stop meowing until [we] examine the loot.
"If I don't respond, [he] starts clattering around," Geiger's son Daniel told the newspaper.
Speedy's kleptomaniac habits led Geiger to post flyers around the town saying "Help, our cat steals!" and inviting people to recover their missing things.
So far, some of Geiger's neighbors have stopped by to reclaim their missing items.
Veterinarian Brigitte Buetikofer says animals steal to gain attention, so ignoring them is the best cure.
Visit Blick's website to see a video about Speedy. If you speak German and can translate the story, this reporter would be glad to post a transcript for the benefit of less linguistically gifted readers.