Published: 05:00, 19 October 2021
| Updated: 14:07, 19 October 2021
Most cat owners will be familiar with their pet returning home with the odd 'treat', often a dead bird or a terrified mouse.
But five-year-old Chai has a penchant for something quite different - workmen's gloves.
The tabby has amassed an impressive haul of more than 30 in the past month, all stolen on her daily travels in Aylesham, near Canterbury.
They have been arriving regularly on the patio of Sam and Kira Mandon-Jones, who are baffled by Chai's bizarre compulsion.
"It started about a month ago," said Kira, who works as a product designer for Canterbury City Council.
"All of a sudden single gloves starting arriving on our patio.
"We've never seen her actually carrying one in her mouth but she always meows loudly to let us know she is back with one, and there's no other way they could get there.
"There is a lot of building work going on around here, and we can only think she is finding them discarded on sites because they all look pretty worn."
Sam, a business analyst, has a theory that Chai is trying to get their attention after they acquired a new dog.
"It started happening about the same time and it's the only reason we can think of," he said.
The couple took Chai in about four years ago after finding her at a rescue centre.
"She had been stray before that, and that's very much still her nature," Kira said.
"She's certainly not a house cat and much prefers to be out most of the day, and often into the evening.
"We're never quite sure when she's going to to turn up - she just does her own thing."
And Chai certainly wasn't going to play to the cameras when KentOnline arrived at the house in Dorman Avenue North.
Kira had warned us she could not guarantee the fussy feline would even be home.
But with the help of a few treats, we managed to briefly engage her attention for a photo call before she vanished again over the garden fence for another wander, most likely returning with yet more gloves.
Such is the scale of the growing haul, that Kira has even taken to a local residents page asking people to get in contact if they think they have fallen victim to Chai's thieving ways.
One commenter responded: "I’m so glad it’s not just my cat that brings stuff home.
"My Luke brings back slices of bread and leaves them at the front and back door! And last week half a slice of pizza!"