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Oscar the cat's bizarre sock obsession

Thursday 9 Jan 2014 10:22 a.m.

Residents of a plush Auckland suburb finally have an answer to the age-old question - who's taken all my socks?

It turns out it's a cat burglar by the name of Oscar.

Oscar - a mandalay – has been stealing from the residents of Herne Bay for eight years now.

"In the morning there are either socks on the steps or on the landing, or just out here or he's dropped them next door," says Oscar's owner, Paul Wai-Poi.

The cat takes at least one sock per day from neighbourhood houses, the local school and a construction site.

That amounts to about 3000 socks over the years, but sometimes Oscar brings home much more.

"He brought back a bra and panties and the bra got hooked up on the fence and the next door neighbour saw it. I said it's not my wife's," says Mr Wai-Poi.

He has given up trying to find which socks belong to which neighbours, so washes them and gives them to charity.

So what's behind the sock obsession?

"I honestly don't know, I'm hoping because it's fun," says Mr Wai-Poi.

But one mandalay expert thinks she knows Oscar's inspiration.

"These cats love the smell of feet," says Deborah Aicken. "So if I took my shoes off around the cats they would all come and roll in them and steal the shoes."

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