In a tale of pure irony, West Linn Police Sergeant Dave Kempas learned he shared his Portland abode with a real life cat burglar. The culprit in question? The family feline: Tigger.
Tigger, otherwise known as Kleptokitty, has become well-known throughout the Portland area over the years – racking up a collection of everything from Wendy’s French Fry boxes to rubber gloves and socks.
“We live next door to a school,” Kempas told The Portland Tribune about the real-life cat burglar. “There’s a hole the cat goes through, and on the other side of the fence is a staging area, if you will, of all the stuff he piles up and brings into the house.”
Tigger’s life of crime began four years ago, when Kempas would find random hats and other so-called bits of trash strewn throughout the living room. As the owner of multiple cats, however, Kempas couldn’t determine who the culprit was – until he installed trail cameras. Trail cameras, otherwise known as night vision cameras, are most frequently used for hunting, but they were precisely the tool Kempas needed to finger the kitty klepto – and Tigger was caught red-handed.
While such a discovery would typically land someone behind bars, Kempas kept his handcuffs locked away – instead turning Kleptokitty’s pilfering ways into a form of celebrity.
“I took a class on social media in disaster recovery,” Kempas said. “It turned out to be like ‘Facebook for Dummies,’ so I made a Facebook for the cat.”
Klepto Kitty’s Facebook page now has 300+ likes, and is filled with anecdotes and photographs of Tigger’s latest finds.
Though the cat usually works alone, and is obviously the ringleader of the crime organization, his sibling Sugar occasionally gets in on the action.
“Tigger is the one that brings almost all of it back,” Kempas said. “Sugar (another Kempas cat) likes feathers and baby snakes. We had a baby snake on Monday.”
While the majority of Tigger and Sugar’s finds range from mundane to strange, they do occasionally trot in with something completely unexpected – like the marijuana bud Tigger brought back one time.
“I thought, ‘I could get him with a PCS (possession of a controlled substance) charge,” Kempas said jokingly.
Kleptokitty has a fondness for just about anything he finds. One thing he has yet to do, however, is steal from his own family.
“He never takes anything from inside our house,” Kempas said. “He always goes somewhere else and brings it back, like a cat bringing me a mouse or something.”
Some may wonder where Tigger picked up his thieving ways, but Kempas knows exactly who’s responsible: a previous Kempas cat who had an affinity for pilfering gardening gloves.
“He picked up the tradition,” Kempas said, “but he’s gone over and beyond.”