A Genuine Cat Burglar

Photo: Stian Alexander

A thief, a crook, a robber, a lifter, a pickpocket, a pilferer, a cat burglar. When a small neighborhood discovered that more than 20 sets of house and car keys had gone missing, where did they place their blame? Probably not on a neighborhood cat named Milo.

Milo, the culprit behind the disappearance of said pieces, had taken them all from the neighborhood homes of the Stoke Newington residents in north east London. Milo wears a magnetic collar around her neck so she can access the cat flap in her owner's home. Many of the homes in Stoke Newington have cat flaps. Kirsten Alexander, Milo's owner, had no idea that Milo had been sneaking into the homes of the neighbors while she was at work. It wasn't until Alexander saw Milo coming back through the cat flap one day, collar covered with a clutter of keys, that she realized what was going on.

"When I saw her coming through the cat flap with a set of keys round her neck I thought 'poor thing' because her neck was really weighed down, and then it dawned on me what was happening,” she said. "I've given all the keys back and luckily neighbours have seen the funny side of it."

Photo: Stian Alexander

Link | Via Abroath

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Given it has happened several times and apparently the cat seeks out the keys, I think Milo probably has a purpose in mind and not to take the keys...

I can think of three possibilities, one Lilo likes the sound or bling the keys provide, two, the weight of the keys are comfortable for him, or three, the weight reduces the binding of the collar on the throat. I think the latter could be the case, but I'm not Milo.
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Yes, the lives of the birds being lost are a really, really major point. Many species are being devastated. I have a parrot, and my parents and sister do too - getting to know a bird well is quite amazing...doesn't have to be a parrot or a crow...finches/canaries are also complex personalities in their own way.

As for cats, the occasional cat poop on the edges of the yard, the paw prints on my car, the light claw scratches in the wax of my vehicles..these don't bother me. I love cats too. I grew up with cats - the normal amount, like one or two in the house at a time.

Cats (not all) can be trained not to kill birds. The cats that kill birds do it not to eat...but as sport, and are being arseholes. Many can be trained not to kill. My family's late cat, Spooky was trained from kittenhood to coexist with the yard-birds, she mostly ignored the yard-birds and later became pals with the my family's rescue parrots shortly after each bird joined us. She ignored the parrots at first, but they assertively made friends with her, it was a very interesting process.

Getting to know the birds inside and outside the house, it is clear that most are more intelligent than the cats, much like primates are more intelligent than the primate-eating big-cats.

However -- individual mileage varies, and some cats simply cannot be trained, and I do not know for sure that my family's late kitty was totally chaste.

Belling one's pussy, or keeping he or she indoors is a good strategy for individual cats, but the reality is that there are many cats who remain outdoor, untrained, and unbelled.

What I, my parents, siblings and others I know do with our own yards is create zones where the birds can eat their bird seed with a reduced threat ofrom adorable serial-killers.

Part of this is hanging bird feeders, another is two to three foot chicken-wire fences around shrubs that have a clear 360 degree view, that cannot be accessed from above, and are tall enough for sentry birds to perch. The cats mostly don't even try now. Airsoft devices are useful, and are just as useful when aimed to hit near the cat -- to make some noise.
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Touch my pussy and I will eject you through the nearest airlock. In space no one can hear you scream...Oh Pain, oh joy! Oh Pain, oh joy! Oh pain, oh joy, oh pain, oh joy, oh pain, oh joy!
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Why do cat owners feel it is OK to allow their pet to wander around outdoors at all hours? Cats should be kept in the residence with the owner, and a litter box provided. Dogs are not generally allowed free reign, especially in an urban environment. Cats are predators and kill many millions of birds annually. Rationalizing that they also kill pests like rats and mice does not exempt the owners from the responsibility of maintaining control of their pets. If you are going to persist in letting your cat loose, please put a bell on its collar and give the songbirds a fighting chance.
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