Esme the Cat Gains Reputation for Kleptomania After Stealing Neighbors' Items to Give Gifts to Her Family

Esme the cat has taken it upon herself to "borrow" items from her neighbors that she then gives to her owner.
Kate Felmet

This Oregon family's cat is now known in the neighborhood for stealing goods to present to her loved ones.

Kate Felmet is the owner of a sweet cat named Esme that has a love of gift-giving. The only problem is that the gifts the kitty finds are from around her neighborhood and likely belong to other people.

Felmet, who lives in Oregon with her family, told Inside Edition Digital that Esme bringing her gifts has been a regular occurrence. “Esme has been bringing me things since she first started going outside. She and her brother Cheeto were indoors for a year, and she would carry fabric and doll clothes around the house,” she said.

Esme brings one item home each day, and Felmet told Inside Edition Digital that it began with birds and garbage. “My mom is an avid bird watcher and was quite distressed, so I began to praise Esme for anything she brought me that wasn’t a bird,” she said. 

“Each time she brings something, she comes to the back door and yowls in a very distinctive and harsh way until I come to tell her she has done a good job. Even when I am sleeping, in between night calls, she wakes me up to present her gifts," Felmet said. 

Kate Felmet

Felmet believes that Esme brings her family items that she recognizes from the home, including fabric around the time she was creating costumes for her children, or gloves when she began working in her garden. “When I started in the garden this spring she began bringing gloves almost exclusively. She nearly always brings a pair, one at a time.”

“I had returned all the gloves I could to neighbors who recognized them and pawned a few pairs off on people who I know could use them."

Felmet's family has a running joke that their cat is considerate of their safety, as she is an ICU doctor and noticed that Esme’s mask collection increased during lockdown. 

“She began to bring masks every day. She brought several every day. One day she brought a total of 11 masks. I am an ICU doc so we joked that she was worried about my wellbeing," Felmet said. "She takes her role as my family seriously.”

Kate Felmet

Because of the increase in the kitty’s gifts, Felmet decided to create a sign that let her neighbors know where their missing things may have ended up as an invitation to retrieve them. 

“At least 10 pairs of gloves and a few masks and a running belt have been reunited with their owners through the sign and clothesline," Felmet said.

Felmet shared that she has no intention of shaming her pet, and that Esme and her brother, Cheeto, are both very sweet and well-behaved cats. But apparently, Esme was not partial to the sign, as she put a pause on her adventures for a week after the sign went up. It didn't last for long, however, as she has since returned to her gift-giving. 

Related Stories