It’s the perfect ruse. While one stealthy thief sets out on a night of crime, another stands by on lookout, casing the joint from the mean roofs of Bishopdale.
It’s a risky business, but this brother and sister act have got it down pat, both looking as innocent as each other when owner Emma Simo confronts them with their latest loot.
With crime escalating in their normally quiet Christchurch street all paws are pointed at 3-year old Kassandra and her brother Hjalmar, due to their Norwegian Forest genetics.
It’s fair to say even Poirot might come to the same conclusion. After all, these famous European cats are known to be great climbers, with strong claws more than able to drag prized goodies home.
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Once used as rat catchers on Viking ships, Kassandra and Hjalmar have upped the ante when it comes to their breed’s talents, taking the path of a life of crime.
Simo was delighted with the siblings in their first year, but things took a slightly hairier turn when rags started arriving at their doorstep.
Well known to be a precursor to serious crime, as in Keith the Thief’s case when he escalated to stealing drug paraphernalia including white powder, rags soon became socks.
Then it was cat toys and anything with catnip, before they moved to shoes – just one initially, and then a pair.
But they were smart, lying low for weeks at a time before skulking out in the cover of darkness.
Simo began to suspect Kassandra but couldn’t entirely rule out Hjalmar, especially when he appeared with a soaking wet towel gripped between his teeth.
While it may be true that both felines are on the game, it was Kassandra that was caught in the process of pinching a neighbor’s steel-capped boots.
They soon progressed to bigger things, with Simo finding a dressing gown on the lawn. The next morning her husband found another one at the back of their property.
Used to doing the walk of shame, sometimes with both Kassandra and Hjalmar behind her, Simo set about finding who the dressing gowns belonged to.
Their lack of morals was confirmed when it was discovered they came from a bag of clothing that was going to be donated to charity from a house nearby.
It was not the first time Simo was forced to report their crimes. Not long ago she had to return a shoe to a neighbor who had wrongly blamed children for the theft. Kassandra happily purred her way down the neighbor’s drive, on the heels of a guilt-stricken Simo.
She jokingly warned another neighbor watching with amusement that they might be next.
Sure enough, a ladies shoe turned up mysteriously the next morning. Queue another walk of shame.
So the question remains – who is the real Bishopdale burglar?
Unashamedly, Hjalmar flung a toy bird in the air when Stuff tried to film him, happily basking in the glory of yet another steal while Kassandra prowled around the section.
But there was only one that carefully scrutinized what was on offer in the photographer’s bag.
“We’re not entirely sure…but we suspect it is Kassandra,” Emma said.