I am a thinker and a writer, and I study the universe.

A Letter to a Cat Burglar

Dear Adrian (aka A. J. or Kitty),

I am writing to you as a token of appreciation. I am grateful to have found you yesterday doing what you do. You were trying to steal stuff from my house, and I just wanted to express my gratitude. Now I know this sounds too strange, but I have a wonderful explanation as to how you have made my life much better.

Before yesterday evening, I was a naive girl. My house had never been burglarized before, though I live in a poor part of the city, and so I never had any idea what it was like to be burglarized. My family and I took as many precautions as we could afford so that something like this would never happen, especially while on holiday. But yesterday evening, we found that somebody or something had ransacked our house. Little did we know, the cat burglar, Kitty, was still in there. I stepped through the doorway, and after a few seconds, you stepped out of the kitchen to face me and my family. You greeted me with a nervous smile, and I shouted, “Who are you??” You introduced yourself as A. J. and told us all that had happened, though much of it did not make any sense. You told me that you had stopped a fire that was about to start, that you had saw three older men running out of the house late one night a week ago (we were not gone that long), that you had called the police, who had decided to let it go since the three men had not taken anything, and that now you were protecting our stuff.

Kitty, you changed my life, perhaps for the worse…or perhaps for the better. I had been a naive girl back then. Funny how one’s naiveté can disappear in one moment. Funny how it is sometimes the worst people that help dissipate others’ naiveté. I am sure that you are not among the worst of people; in fact, my father was probably one of the worst, though even that is doubtful.

Anyway, Kitty, despite all of my questions, despite all you said and how much none of it made no sense, I believed you because you seemed sincere. But I suppose a lot of my faith in you depended on what I always thought about cat burglars. The standard cat burglar is dressed in black, sneaks into houses in the dead of night, and, most of all, scatter like a cockroach as soon as there is any indication that somebody has come into the house or woken up. This last one was my biggest belief, because I knew perfectly well that not all cat burglars dressed in black or do their thing in the dead of night. But I ‘knew’ perfectly well that all cat burglars scattered as soon as they detect any indication of life. However, Kitty, this was not your way.

Because of you, I now know that I have a right to be suspicious, and even attack you, if there is a stranger in my own house. Before this, I did not know that. Because of you, I now know that not all cat burglars are the sneakiest people, and that sometimes they pose as hired workers just to gain access to a house. Before this, I never knew that. Because of you, I now know that not all cat burglars scattered as soon as the owners of a house returned. Before this, I never knew that.

Cat burglars are often sneaky, stealthy, and convincing. You, Kitty, were certainly convincing, at least to me, though my mother was not as naive. But your other flaws betrayed your plans. You did not know the family thoroughly enough to know when we were going to return home. You decided that perhaps we would be gone for a long, long time, and that you would have all the time in the world to take your time to take our belongings. If it had not been for your flaws, you would not have landed in jail. This is a negative for you. However, because of your flaws, and your skills, you have taught me a life lesson. You have taught me that I have a right to be suspicious if there is a stranger in my house, no matter how convincing he is. You have taught me that everything happens for a reason, that God had wanted us to arrive home at precisely that time to catch you in the act.

For all of your flaws and for all of your strengths, there has been some good that had come out of this incident. This good is precisely that I am no longer going to be naive. I suppose I also have my naivete to thank for catching you. If I had been suspicious from the beginning, I would have completely shown it, more fiercely than ever. I would have pretended to be a monster and tried to frighten you; I would have growled, shown my teeth, and told you to leave or that I would kill you. You might have left immediately and nobody would have known where to find you, or perhaps something worse would have happened. But because I was naive, you did not feel threatened by us, and so you stuck around a bit longer…until I called 911. I listened as the officers arrested you. When my sister and I went outside, you were sitting in a police car, staring at us ever so neutrally. I glowered at you for a moment, expecting that you would react. But you did not. Instead, you stared at me as if at a complete stranger.

Yes, I was a naive girl. But now as a woman, I know that if a stranger is in my house without my permission, I have a right to be suspicious, even if he or she seems official.

Again, thank you, Kitty, for teaching me an important life lesson. This might not have been the ‘good’ you had wanted to get done in the world, but it was a good nonetheless. I hope you suffer in jail. Perhaps you might go to prison! My neighbors tell me that you have a record of burglary, terrorizing other families, many of which probably had children. And because of this, they may not let you out for a very long time. I hope you have a good time during your stay in jail. And I hope all of your many nightmares come true!

Thanks again, my little Kitty, my little Cat Burglar, Adrian (aka A. J.)!

Yours truly

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