6 min read
“I had no idea that my angel was also a petty thief” ?
Before Admiral Galacticat discovered the outdoors, he was content with his relaxing home life. But during the stay-at-home order in Philadelphia, his house began to feel a little small.
His mom, Heather Bardi, and his brother were around all day — and Admiral was not happy about it. “Admiral’s quiet naps were rudely interrupted no sooner than they started by the shrieks and yells of his unyielding big brother,” Bardi told The Dodo. “He wanted out. He would wait by the door and try to sneak by my feet before I realized.”
Bardi bought a leash for Admiral and began to take him on walks around the yard until she felt comfortable letting him outside by himself.
Admiral was thrilled to finally be able to nap in peace and play with other neighborhood cats. “I think I was the one who needed to be eased into it and not Admiral,” Bardi said. “Now he lounges around out front and watches the cars drive by.”
Then, two weeks ago, Bardi found a tank top and a pair of socks on her porch. She tossed them in the trash, thinking a drunk person had thrown them on her doorstep. But when more clean laundry began showing up around her yard, she started to doubt her initial theory.
“Once more items started showing up, I thought to grab the shirt and sock out of the trash in case they are from a person playing a prank on me and I wanted all of the evidence together,” Bardi said.
To catch the culprit in the act, Bardi set up a makeshift security camera. She downloaded a recording app onto an old cell phone and taped it to a pole on her front porch. When she reviewed the footage the next day, she realized the thief wasn’t a person at all, but her sweet cat Admiral.
Bardi made a cardboard sign and stapled to the pole in the front of her house, hoping to find the person missing the clothes. It read, “Dear Neighbors, My cat has been stealing SOMEONE’s clean laundry & bringing them home. Socks, boxers, dishrags & even a tank top. If you are missing said items, I have been collecting them & have them inside. Please knock & I’ll give them back. Sorry my cat is a klepto.”
When no one in the neighborhood claimed the stolen goods, Bardi turned to social media, posting on NextDoor and then on a local garage sale page on Facebook.
Word of mouth eventually connected Bardi with the owner of the stolen laundry. Through a neighbor, she learned that Admiral had been breaking into a shared laundry room in an apartment, and pilfering laundry from a number of different roommates. “We all laughed about the whole situation and how we were shocked that it had garnered so much attention,” Bardi said. “It was definitely the weirdest way to meet the neighbors.”
While Admiral’s laundry collection has been returned to its rightful owners, Admiral continues to bring his mom “gifts” whenever he goes outside. “Up until now almost two weeks ago, I had no idea that my angel was also a petty thief. But hey, did your parents know everything about you?” Bardi said. “He still to this day has been coming home with more laundry, though I don’t know why I expected it to stop. He seems to either enjoy bringing me presents, or he is just being a rebellious 4-year-old.”
“I guess I should have seen this coming,” she added. “Though I could never have imagined the lengths he went to get all this random laundry.”