Kate Felmet put up a yard sign calling out her cat as a thief for stealing from her neighbors.
Next to the sign, Felmet hung all the stolen items, such as gloves and belts, on a clothesline.
Felmet said she had united more than a dozen items with their original owners since making the sign.
Kate Felmet used to go door-to-door making "apology rounds" to her neighbors in Beaverton, Oregon, when her cat, Esme, would steal their gloves, face masks, and other items she could fit in her mouth, she told Insider.
But recently, Felmet says she found a better way to deal with her klepto cat.
Esme has been bringing Felmet at least one item a day since she first started going outside in the summer of 2019, according to Felmet. At first, she brought birds and bits of trash, Felmet said.
"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," Felmet 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."
When coronavirus lockdown began in spring 2020, Esme started ramping up her gifts and brought home several face masks a day, Felmet said. One day, Felmet said Esme brought home 11.
Esme has brought home many weird things, Felmet said. But in April, she seemed to be focused on gardening gloves.
"One week in late April, she brought two pairs per day," Felmet said. "At the end of the week, I had 14 pairs, and I thought that if I didn't do something about it I'd be swamped by the end of the summer." That's when she decided to make the sign and place a clothesline in her front yard holding all the stolen items.
Since then, Felmet estimates she has united 10 pairs of gloves, several masks, and a running belt with their original owners: her neighbors.
"They mostly seem amused," she said of her neighbors, "but it's kind of awkward with the family from whom Esme has stolen the same pair of kneepads out of their garage three times."
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