HE’S not your average cat burglar.
Standing just 12 inches tall and sporting a ginger and white fur coat, meet one of Southampton’s most prolific underwear thieves.
Over the past few weeks Oscar the cheeky feline has stolen various’ ladies knickers, countless socks and more than his fair share of gardening gloves.
The 13-year-old’s owners became so concerned about his habit they even phoned police in case neighbours thought they were stealing their clothes.
Now owners Peter and Birgitt, who are fostering Oscar, plan to adopt the kleptomaniac cat after falling in love with his habit of bringing them up to ten “presents” a day.
Peter Weismantel, 72, of Gordon Avenue, Portswood, said: “He started bringing socks home a few months ago and then gardening gloves which we tracked to our neighbour. Then we had a situation in which he brought back young women’s underwear.
Bear in mind we live in a student area we didn’t know what to do and thought it would go away.
“Then it began to escalate and I telephoned the police as people must have been missing clothes – especially with women’s underwear being taken.
“But he just doesn’t stop.
He’s still doing it now.
We are thinking of training him as Fagin.”
Over the last three weeks Oscar has brought home dozens of socks, various ladies knickers, builder’s gloves, a knee-pad, a paint roller, rubber gloves and gardening gloves.
Earlier this week he brought home, one by one, ten pairs of children’s underpants.
Birgitt Weismantel, 56, who has been fostering Oscar from the Southampton Cats Protection charity since Christmas, said: “He brings them back as presents. We can’t give him back now as he makes such an effort with all these gifts. He’s got a lovely personality and is a very loving cat.
“I think we fell in love with him before he started taking all these things. It was just so touching to see him come home every day with something for us.
“When he can’t find us anything decent he brings us back some newspaper or a Jcloth.
“If any readers in the Portswood area are missing the said items of underwear it would be good to put their minds at rest that it’s only a cat pinching and not someone more unpleasant.”
Birgitt added that the police now have a detailed description of Oscar and have logged his thefts, which are believed to total around 70.
OSCAR was looked after by the Southampton branch of the Cats Protection Society before being adopted. They currently have lots of cats and kittens needing homes. Last year the Southampton branch rehomed 320 cats and neutered more than 500. For more information visit southampton.cats.org.uk or contact 0845 3712718.