Thoughts for Thursday – Cats that Hoard

AlyzayBirthday3 020Yesterday we covered cat hoarders. Today, I want to talk about something a little lighter—cats that hoard. This was a fun study. Made me smile. I found cats that steal and hide chap stick, one that takes the dog’s toys and surrounds her food bowl with them, one that hides wads of paper receipts under the bed and a cat that steals and delivers socks to its owner. I discovered cats that hoards bottle caps and even Christmas ornaments—glass ones and not one is found broken. One cat was found to have hidden dozens of pens, nail polish, rubber bands, small containers of hand sanitizer, lipstick, a quarter, and candy under a sofa. There are cats with fetishes for rings off milk jugs, straws, wads of tin foil, and even crayons

Why do they do that? One theory is that it’s handed down in their DNA as a survival LilySocktechnique—they’re imitating the practice of catching prey and bringing it back to the nest or cave for future meals. Some think it has to do with mothering instincts—the items they hoard, in other words, represent imaginary offspring. Some cats bring items to their person. In appreciation? Because they believe it’s prey and we don’t know how to hunt? It is thought that those that are attracted to shiny objects or a particular item—such as hair ties, jewelry, etc., and they hide these treasures, it could be an obsessive compulsive disorder.

In the Klepto Cat Mysteries, Rags takes things—all variety of things that interest or delight him—and he generally hides them. Sometimes he brings something important to his people. He has a main stash, but often something that goes missing will show up in a totally new, unexpected location, such as occurs in the latest story—soon to be published.

LilyToysI think most of you know that I patterned Rags, the kleptomaniac cat, partly after our Lily, who has a fascination for small stuffed animals and other soft toys. She has removed all of the stuffed toys and small dolls from the grandkids’ toy basket. Her toy basket is overflowing now with stuffed things of all types—an eagle, a moose, a hedgehog, baby possum, bears and more. Among the treasures she has claimed is our granddaughter’s Dora doll. She scatters these things around the house, mostly along the route between my bedroom and my office. Often, she brings her toys or my slipper socks and drops them at my feet. And usually with a prrrrt sound. Sometimes I find a toy mouse or spider or bird floating in her water dish. Is she trying to give it swimming lessons? Maybe she thinks it’s thirsty.

Would love to hear your cat hoarder or cat hoarding stories.

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2 Responses to Thoughts for Thursday – Cats that Hoard

  1. Each Simon Teakettle (I, II, and III) had special toys they loved, but Simon II (Tiki) had a small stuffed bear (the size of a kitten) that he carried around, deposited at my feet, sometimes hid in a corner, and cried for if he couldn’t find it. Simon III (Terzo) hid furry mice in a closet with a sliding door he learned to open. I could never find these, so he was clever enough to hide them where only he could find them. But mice would disappear, then reappear one morning in the middle of the den rug. Q.T. Penny, who took over the Simon Teakettle blog almost two years ago, hides her “crinkly balls,” the sparkly foil ones she particular favors. Check under a low bookcase or behind a door, and there are one or two, waiting for her to retrieve them!

  2. Patricia says:

    I think it is so cute when they carry toys and hide them. You just wonder what goes through their mind when they’re doing it. And do they always remember where they hid one of their toys? As a kitten, Max used to hide tiny toy mice and when he’d later find it, he’d act so surprised, like he’d just discovered a long-lost friend. Hugs to Q.T. Penny.

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