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Weird News

Klepto Kitty Gives Back Stolen Loot

Mar 7, 2011 – 3:30 PM
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Tori Richards

Tori Richards Contributor

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. -- A kleptomaniac cat has given back his stolen loot in a reverse neighborhood garage sale.

The owners of Dusty, a Siamese cat, displayed hundreds of items on tables in front of their Northern California home with hopes that the owners would claim their goods, ABC7-TV reported.

Neighbors were invited to browse through the belongings and take what was theirs. And all the while, Dusty monitored the event as if he were making a mental note of which possessions were retrieved.

"He just sat there and was watching this whole thing from under one of the bushes," owner Jean Chu told AOL News. "He's just a total character."

The items included balls, towels, car wash mitts, gloves, shirts, bathing suits and other miscellaneous clothing. Chu estimates that Dusty -- who has been dubbed "Klepto Kitty" -- has stolen more than 500 items over the years.

Neighbors claimed the clothing, but most of the towels remained. Chu is thinking of donating those to the Peninsula Humane Society, which rescued Dusty as a kitten.

Dusty became an international sensation last month after Animal Planet aired nighttime surveillance footage of the resourceful feline dragging his pilfered plunder back home. Like a scene out of the Disney movie "That Darn Cat," Dusty was shadowed for two weeks -- and caught red-pawed.

Stints on national television, including "Late Show With David Letterman," followed.

"It's like he's shopping at Costco," Letterman quipped, after revealing that Dusty's biggest hauls were 213 dish towels, 40 balls, 16 car wash mitts and 100 gloves.

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And now it looks like Redwood City's biggest celebrity will be the grand marshal in the annual pet parade in May, an event that raises money for charity. This year the funds will be donated to Dusty's alma mater, the Peninsula Humane Society.

"We are a nonprofit organization, so we could use the money," Peninsula Humane Society spokesman Scott Delucchi told AOL News.

Dusty was brought to the shelter as a kitten in 2006 by an owner who couldn't care for him and soon adopted by Chu.

"We didn't hear much until he was in the news," Delucchi said. "This just shows people the great kinds of animals we have available. We find 4,000 pets a home each year, and half are cats."

Chu said Dusty leaves at night through a pet door that is left open for the family dogs. He retrieves items left on neighboring porches and in backyards -- a favorite being bathing suits in the summer.

Now that the word is out about Dusty's cat burglaring, neighbors will come by to visit Chu if they are missing an item. Sometimes she goes door to door, looking for the owner.

"Most of the time, people don't even know the items are missing," she said.
Filed under: Nation, Weird News, Crime, Good News
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