The first time I 'stole' a cat, it was more of a 'borrow' to be honest. I was a teenager. This gorgeous friendly cat moved in with me, I fed her and she slept in my room. I got her a new collar and even arranged for her to be spayed through a local charity.
Imagine my horror when I was feeding her one day and we both heard someone singsong calling 'Bramble' and she shot off over the fence. Now imagine the owners' horror when they came back from holiday to find their cat wearing a new collar, shaved and recovering from surgery.
I literally counted the seconds until the knock on the door. Amazingly the owners were really good about it (in the end), and even asked me to look after their cats whenever they went on holiday. I'm not sure I would have been so magnaminous.
The second time I stole a cat I really did steal a cat. I was living in a shared student house and one of the other people - let's call him Brian (for that was his name) - acquired a cat. It wasn't an expensive cat and to be fair Brian didn't look after the cat or feed the cat. I did all those things. I even taught him (the cat) to chase a ball and bring it back.
Imagine my chagrin when Brian left the shared house and took the cat with him! My cat! Roping in some well-meaning and pliable people and 'Operation Cat Rustle' was go. We all piled in a car and headed to Brian's mum's house. It was dark. We turned the lights and engine off and gently rolled down the street as near as we dared.
While the getaway driver stayed at their post the rest of us headed to the house ninja-stylee. The cat was sat in the front garden and looked mightily amused to see us all there, hissing his name. He didn't move of course. One of us (it was me) had to sneak into the front garden, grab the cat and sneak out again as quickly as possible. It was thrilling. And successful.
We ran back to the car and brought the cat home with a massive euphoric sense of 'sticking it to the man'. Yeah.
A couple of days later Brian turned up to the old house to pick up some post and as he was there on the doorstep, the cat leisurely walked past him. We exchanged nervous glances, convinced we were rumbled. Brian was gobsmacked. "**** me!!! He's walked home! that's amazing!! Aren't cats clever?!"
Lulu the cat, was not obtained through nefarious means.
This brings me to my latest feline visitor. A few weeks ago a scrawny but friendly little tortoiseshell cat came up to me and my son. She looked desperately hungry so I gave her some food, and then as the food was being eaten, left a bowl by the front door and kept filling it up. We'd been having regular sightings but today she walked past my son, wandered into the house, found a cushion and went to sleep.
Scooby isn't bothered by her and more importantly the queen of the house, Lulu, wasn't bothered either. Cat is very friendly and likes being handled. She's had a wander, found the food, water and litter tray and found a wardrobe to sleep in. It looks like she's here for the night, no idea what's going to happen after that. Watch this space...
Lulu, Queen of the house afteer a dowwnpour