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Cat Thief

Page Fourteen

Your Nicked... Feline Podge Mimics Mum!

By: Stu Oldham - Otago Daily Times - New Zealand

September 2004


You're nicked... Mornington cat Podge casually surveys the shoes he has stolen in recent weeks.
The Dunedin suburb of Mornington is being terrorised by a second-generation thief, apparently born into a life of crime!

Podge the cat, whose mother used to steal rugby socks, has spent much of the past two and a-half years taking shoes from porches.

He lost part of his tail during one late-night raid - his owner Aileen Smith suspected it was caught in a door as he tried to get away - but he continues to steal shoes by the pair.

After a quiet period of some weeks, Podge stole four pair of shoes last week and was caught on Sunday "with his tail up like a peacock", dragging a pastel-blue slip-on down the footpath to his Ventnor Street home.

"I don't know if he learned about stealing things from his mother, but she was never that bad," Mrs Smith said, noting Podge might have to be put under house arrest.

"Hubby says we can't just lock him away, but that means poor old hubby has to take the shoes back when they arrive."

"His back is sore enough as it is without Podgey giving him more work to do."

Animal behaviourist and associate professor at Massey University Kevin Stafford said stealing pairs of shoes was unusual and there was every chance Podge had learned his behaviour from his mother Kizzi, who continues to steal slippers and stuffed toys from local neighbour Mrs Smith.

It was called "misdirected predation", an urbanised response to the hunting instinct, and it was almost impossible to stop.

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