This cat is a shameless thief. Discuss.

A domestic cat living in Beaverton, Oregon, USA, is one of those cats that people like to brand as a thief because she goes to neighbours' homes and picks up gloves and other personal items and bring them back to her den which is her home. 

It looks like a distorted and confused version of hunting prey without the killing and bringing the prey animal back to teach her owner how to kill prey animals. That is what the wild cat does in the wild and it's how I interpret feline kleptomania, as it is referred to. Esme is treating her human caretaker as a kitten and she is training this woman how to kill prey animals when they are brought back to the den. So, it is all completely natural and normal for Esme.

"My cat is a thief". No, she is not. Screenshot.

Esme has no concept of human criminality, the human language, morality, the emotion of shame, immorality or human laws. The emotion of shame demands that the cat is able to be self-aware and measure themselves against human society's norms. They can't do all this.

Therefore, categorically she is not a thief but that isn't the point. The large sign that Esme's owner put outside her home is really a bit of fun asking neighbours to come and collect their stolen personal effects.

Despite the fun element, and I totally get it, I do not like the sign because I would argue that it disrespects the cat. It's a slightly hostile sign and it is using a concept which is totally alien to the cat. Let's think of a better sign, one which respects the cat and understands feline behaviour resulting in this form of 'kleptomania'.

Esme is a 'thief'. No, she is a mother and a hunter and she is training her kittens (her human companion) which means she is confused! :) 

What about "My cat has borrowed these items, please collect them if they are yours". Or "My cat thinks gloves are prey animals. Sorry, please collect". Just two examples made up on the spur of the moment. They might not be very good and they are less interesting but they are more truthful and they are more respectful. Actually, they are dull titles because they are literal. You won't get a ton of video views with titles like that and that is the point. The sign is a form of clickbait.

Note: This is a video from another website. Sometimes they are deleted at source which stops them working on this site. If that has happened, I apologise but I have no control over it.

I know that you will argue that you don't need to respect the domestic cat, but you do. You need to respect feline behaviour. To call your cat a thief is to anthropomorphise your cat which is not respecting feline behaviour. You are imparting upon your cat human concepts such as criminal behaviour, morality and legislation. As mentioned, this is madness. Esme is simply doing what she's compelled to do perhaps because she's bored. Find another outlet for her to express her feline desires. And don't make a funny cat video which if the cat could understand it wouldn't find it funny.

In respecting cat behavior, you will be a better cat owner. Far better.

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