When Mónica Vicéns’ friend told her about three tiny kittens abandoned in her backyard, Vicéns couldn’t say no to fostering them. She quickly fell in love with the smallest of the bunch, a little white and brown tabby, and knew she couldn’t stand to part with her.
“China was the only girl and the runt of the three,” Vicéns told The Dodo. “I already had a 4-month-old male kitten named Waffles from that same yard and had fallen in love with China, so I decided to keep her.”
A few months later, Vicéns moved to a home with a large backyard, and the scrawny kitten transformed into a fierce huntress.
“It got to the point that we had to keep all the doors and windows closed making sure she wasn’t able to get out because she always snuck in with some live creature in her mouth,” Vicéns said. “She would get up every morning as if it was her job to go out there and provide for the family.”
Vicéns began to find piles of her roommate’s socks outside her door. At first, she thought her roommate’s dog was bringing them to her, but eventually, they caught China red-handed. “She was making some weird meows so we slowly peeked around the corner and saw her dropping the sock by my door,” Vicéns said. “It was the funniest thing we had seen!”
Eventually, China found her way outside again, but to her mom’s relief, she began to turn up with objects as gifts — instead of live ones.
First, China brought her cigarettes, then matches, leaving them outside the front door. Vicéns wasn’t sure where the items were coming from and assumed they were her roommate’s.
Vicéns figured out that every time China left the house, she stuck to a routine: “She’ll quickly run to her favorite patch of dirt to roll around in it then she’s off to burglarize the streets,” Vicéns said. “She’ll come back with something, drop it at my door, sit and yell for me.”
“I couldn’t keep covering for her so I came clean,” Vicéns said. “I left the neighbors a bag with their items and a note explaining what was going on.”
Luckily, the neighbors had no problem with China burglarizing them. Vicéns has since set up a “return box” on their property where they can find their missing backyard items.
China can certainly be a handful, but Vicéns wouldn’t trade her for the world. “[She] loves to roll around in dirt, hunt, steal, knock things off tables and annoy me as much as possible and I love her to death,” Vicéns said. “She makes me laugh every day.”