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Real Life

REAL LIFE: How this cat with a penchant for stealing from his neighbours became an icon in his community

''He's a local celebrity.''

By Laura Trieste

Kay McCall, 68, from Brisbane, Qld, shares her story

I stared in confusion at the toys that had appeared in our yard overnight.
Where are they coming from? I wondered.
The first time I noticed a couple of dog toys in our backyard, I assumed the neighbours' kids had thrown them over the fence.
But now my husband, Tom, and I had been finding new items every morning for the past couple of weeks.
"Maybe the cat's bringing them?" Tom suggested.
This friendly ginger cat liked to visit Kay for pats. (Image: Supplied)
He was referring to the friendly neighbourhood cat who'd been regularly visiting us for pats ever since we'd moved into our home a month earlier.
A couple of weeks later, we spotted the ginger cat hopping over our fence with a toy.
It almost felt like Christmas, waking up each morning to find out what present he'd left us.
Some days there would be four or five items, including random things like socks, a football and a school T-shirt.
After a few months, we'd accumulated enough items to fill a whole table.
Kay posted a photo of Pirate Kitty's stolen goods on Facebook. (Image: Supplied)
I posted a photo of the haul on my local community Facebook page to see if anyone wanted to collect their stolen goods.
People were more interested in the cat, who they called Pirate Kitty.
We want to hear what he does next, many of them commented.
Pirate Kitty gained a loyal following as I posted updates about his thieving antics.
One day, his owner contacted me.
She said she'd been struggling to keep her cat, whose name was Johnny, safely indoors and asked if I could help find him a new home.
Pirate Kitty has gained a loyal following. (Image: Supplied)
After I posted about this on the Facebook page, I got a message from a local resident named Ingrid, who'd had a lot of experience with owning cats.
I've been a Pirate Kitty fan from the beginning, she said.
She came over to meet Johnny that day and later welcomed him into her home.
Pirate Kitty is now an indoor cat.
It was strange at first not to find his gifts in the yard each morning, but I'm so happy he's found a safe home with a lovely owner who has become a good friend.

Ingrid Moyle from Brisbane, Qld, shares her story

I smiled as I listened to the familiar clunking sounds coming up the stairs.
Soon, the Pirate Kitty appeared by my bed with a toy in his mouth as if to say: "Look what I brought you."
His transition to an indoor cat since he came to our home had been very smooth.
But he still kept his pirating ways, leaving toys outside my bedroom each night!
Ingrid is now the proud owner of Kylo. (Image: Supplied)
After he didn't respond to the name Johnny, my daughters, Rachel and Teagan, and I renamed him after the Star Wars character, Kylo Ren.
Kylo now has thousands of followers reading the posts about his pirating antics on his Facebook and Instagram pages.
And when we put up our Christmas lights display, people visited saying: "We're not here for the lights, we want to see the cat."
We sell Kylo T-shirts and coffee mugs and donate the profits to cat rescue charities.

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