The Sock Thief

Posted on: 05/05/2011

Suat Eman /

Last night I sorted out the laundry whilst watching a little TV, and left a couple of the piles on the sofa to deal with in the morning.

This morning I was trying to get some work done – prior to dealing with said laundry – and I was mildly distracted on several occasions by the sound of long, pitiful yowling.

Oldest child comes wandering in, wondering what to do about having put both pairs of school shorts in the wash and having nothing left for today, when the third bout of yowling occurs from somewhere upstairs.

‘Socks,’ I mutter, engrossed in my work.

‘Socks?’ queries oldest child?

‘Yeah, socks.  That nutty cat has stolen the socks again.  Do you want to have a look?’

Oldest one giggles and runs off, shorts temporarily forgotten.  Reports back to confirm it was indeed socks.

We have two cats.  Silk, the boy cat who doesn’t realise he’s been neutered.  And Velvet, the girl cat for whom the word ‘neurotic’ was invented.  All cats have their idiosyncrasies, and Velvet has so many she is an entertainment show in her own right.  The Sock Thief persona is one we have enjoyed since she was a kitten.

Every time I wash socks – particularly small baby socks, but any will do – she hunts them down (off the line on occasions), finds a special place for them, and yowls loudly and at length about her triumphant capture.

Today is the first time, however, that she has actively hunted down three pairs of socks in a row.

As if they were a trophy kill, she displays them in prominent positions.. as if to say, ‘You’re my top human. You let me tunnel under the duvet at night. This is my gift to you.’ She has kindly left one pair on the landing, one pair on the bed and one on the stairs.

I have to admit, I do prefer the socks to the live/freshly killed alternative.  And there is something immensely reassuring about a neurotic cat who brings you trophy socks stolen from the laundry pile.


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