10 Times Cats Were Blamed for Crimes

Whether they’re hanging out with villains or helping witches cast spells, cats seem to have a bad reputation – at least in books and movies. It turns out that cats get into trouble for far more in real life than you may imagine. Sometimes, they are even guilty of crimes that would be enough to put a human behind bars.

10. Demanding a Sacrifice

You may or may not have heard the story of “Son of Sam” – the serial killer who claimed that his dog instructed him to kill people. Well, turns out a similar thing happened in the summer of 2013 in Connellsville, Pennsylvania.

A man named James Anthony Shroyer stole a car and proceeded to rob a local bank. The tellers gave him roughly $1,500, but he actually dropped one of the plastic grocery bags filled with money as he ran out the door, leaving him with only $900. When he tried to escape, a police cruiser started to chase him. Shroyer stopped his vehicle, went in reverse, and slammed the stolen car into the cruiser. He kept driving, but lost control of the vehicle, and a second cop car slammed into him.

When the police took his testimony, he claimed that he was being harassed every single day to commit these crimes by his cat. This evil feline told him to find a plastic gun, steal a car, and rob the bank. Shroyer was brought in for psychological evaluation, and sentenced to two and a half years in prison.

Now, the real question is: What did that cat want to do with all of that money? A deluxe kitty condo? Fresh salmon for days, perhaps? We’ll never know.

9. Electrocuting Their Owner

In May 2013, a 46-year-old man named Brett Nash was arrested after his wife gave the police a recording of one of their conversations. Her husband had been trying to convince her to participate in a number of different crimes.

Nash’s plan was as follows: He wanted his wife to use herself as bait to lure a local lawyer out of his house. Then, he and his friend would put a bag over the victim’s head and stuff him in the back of the car. They would strap a fake bomb to his chest, and force the lawyer to rob a bank on their behalf. Then, they would take money, and bring the victim back to his house.

Next, they would fill the bathtub with water, and force the victim to submerge himself in the tub. He wanted to blame the victim’s cat for knocking over some kind of electronic object that would have electrocuted the lawyer while he was in the bathtub. This would have required catching the cat and locking the feline into the bathroom together with the victim, so that the police would later find them together, catching the pussycat red-handed for murdering its owner.

Nash never got to put this flawless plot into action. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

8. Sucking the Souls out of Children

You have probably heard the old superstition that black cats are bad luck. For a long time, people believed that cats had the magical ability to suck the souls out of babies, as well. They would sit on an infant’s chest, and pull in their breath like the three witches from Hocus Pocus.

In 1791, a newspaper called The Annual Register reported: “A child of eighteen months old was found dead near Plymouth; and it appeared, on the coroner’s inquest, that the child died in consequence of a cat sucking its breath.” Ever since then, versions of that story have circulated for hundreds of years, even though there don’t seem to be any modern-day examples of this ever happening.

This was still such a common superstition in the early 1900s that Ernest Hemingway even wrote about it in his autobiography. He said that anyone who claimed a cat was dangerous around children was “ignorant.” His cat, Feather Puss, would watch over his son so carefully he never needed to hire a babysitter.

7. Cat Burgling

We’ve all heard of the term “cat burglar,” used to describe people who can use stealth and agility to steal whatever they want. But the origins of this nickname come from the fact that sometimes, cats really do steal things.

In Switzerland, a cat named Speedy regularly wandered around his neighborhood stealing things from people’s yards. He accumulated his hoard of garden gloves, balls, and even bras from people’s clothes lines. Speedy’s owner has to put signs up around the neighborhood letting everyone know that if they’re missing something, it’s probably because of his cat. He keeps a collection in his garage, just waiting for the owners of the objects to come back and get them. Another cat named Oscar in Southampton, England steals things from people’s yards, too… but for whatever reason, he almost always takes women’s panties.

6. Child Pornography

For anyone who owns a dog or cat, you have probably experienced your pet walking across your keyboard and typing complete gibberish at least once. In 2009, a man named Keith Griffin was arrested in Florida for downloading child pornography. When the police searched his computer, he had over 1,000 indecent images saved to his hard drive.

When the police asked him to explain himself, he said the cat did it. Griffin said that he would often come home from work to find his cat standing at the keyboard, and somehow, those images just so happened to be downloaded on his computer.

5. Arson

A 48-year-old man named Michael Paul Weiand owned a trucking business. He got himself into deep financial trouble, so when the Department of Transportation was getting ready to audit him, he knew that the only way he could escape his bad decisions would be to set his house on fire, which would burn all of the evidence.

In January 2016, Weiand scattered all of his business documents around his living room, and went to the store to buy the driest Christmas tree he could find. Then, he adopted a cat from the local animal shelter, and covered the tree in the most flammable lights and ornaments possible.

He went outside, and waited. Sure enough, the cat had knocked over the tree, and it burst into flames. Once he saw smoke coming from his living room, he called 911, and specifically blamed the fire on his new pet. The fire department arrived faster than he had anticipated. When extinguished the flames, the evidence was still scattered all over his living room. He was arrested, and charged a $50,000 fine.

4. Accomplice to Murder

In 2012, a human torso wrapped in a curtain was found on Southsea beach in the United Kingdom. The victim was a man named David Guy, but they could not find any human DNA or fingerprints on the body to link to a potential killer.

However, there were several cat hairs clinging to the fabric of the curtain. In England, there is actually a database of cat DNA that was being collected. Using this database, they were able to match the hairs back to a cat named Tinker, and and its owner, David Hilder. Once they found Tinker, they ran a second DNA test to confirm, and Hilder was arrested. However, the fact that Tinker the cat just stood by and watched as his owner chopped up a body makes him an accomplice to murder. So, if he was a human, Tinker would be going to jail as well.

3. Assaulting a Police Officer

All the way back in 1922, a stray cat in New York City decided to make the local butcher shop its new home. Crowds of people were amused by this cat, who was clawing at anyone who tried to get near the meat that it had claimed as its own.

This was years before humane societies with animal control ever existed, so a local police officer had to take care of the problem. When he showed up, he attempted to pick up the cat to carry it out of the store. The angry feline bit the police officer on the middle finger, and he began bleeding. The officer pulled out his revolver, and shot the cat. It never even got a fair trial.

2. Cloning

When Julie Bishop wakes up in her home in Swindon, England, she often sees that her cat’s toys have somehow multiplied overnight. Many times, the toys she finds are even identical to the ones that Frankie already had, as if the cat had learned to clone its favorite things.

Of course, the cat isn’t actually cloning the toys. We can only assume that Frankie has been sneaking into neighbors’ yards. But the strange thing is that people usually keep their cat toys indoors, especially if they continued to go missing. When Frankie goes on her walks, it only takes her roughly 10 minutes to find a new toy. For example, she has brought home 15 identical stuffed leopards. Her owners assume that she must be stealing them from neighbors, but they still don’t fully understand where the toys come from.

1. Making People Insane for Generations

Have you ever noticed that when socks go missing, we seem to lose just one? This can be very annoying, and honestly, just plain confusing… how is it that it’s always just one sock?

In the United Kingdom, Henry the cat has stolen a grand total of 57 socks (that his owners know of). He gets them from clotheslines in neighbors’ backyards, and usually leaves everything else alone. After all, Oscar from entry 7 has the monopoly on panties. So, if you are a victim of a single sock going missing, now you know who to blame.

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