A cheeky ginger puss with a penchant for pilfering has captured the imagination of a community.
Such is the brazen feline’s reputation for bounty hunting, he’s changed his name and been granted asylum at Ferny Hills with Ingrid Moyle.
In his previous life as Johnny, he roamed the streets surrounding his Ferny Grove home in search of treasures to deliver to neighbours Kay and Tom McCall.
Now he’s known as Pirate Kitty Kylo and has settled into an indoor life.
His nefarious career escalated last March when the McCalls moved to Ferny Grove.
“When we’d been here a week or so a ginger cat popped over the fence for a pat,” Kay says.
“He came back the next day and most days after that – he’d come into the house and say hi.
“Then I noticed some small dog toys on the lawn and thought the kids next door had thrown them over the fence – and then some turned up out the front, sometimes one, sometimes as many as four.”
Johnny’s daily deliveries to the McCalls escalated, with a Build-A-Bear, a small Peter Rabbit and a fabric doll added to the collection, along with a school shirt and a rubber chicken leg toy.
Faced with a growing haul, Kay posted photos of Johnny’s treasures on a local Facebook page.
“The original intention was to find the owners of the toys,” she says.
The gifts continued to arrive for several months before complaints to Council about Johnny’s antics – and his refusal to be confined indoors – led his owners to make the heartbreaking decision to find him a new home.
Having followed his adventures on Facebook and with experience in training outdoor cats to live inside, Ingrid responded to Kay’s plea on behalf of Johnny’s owners.
“They’d tried to make him an indoor cat but he dug his way out of an enclosure and was distressed when they kept him inside,” Ingrid explains.
When he moved in, Johnny refused to respond to his name, so the Moyles tried a variety of new monikers before he settled on Kylo – a fitting choice given Ingrid’s passion for all things Star Wars.
Kylo’s conversion to indoor life was easier than Ingrid anticipated and he now rules the roost with his own toybox of treasures that she tips out downstairs each night – and every morning she wakes to find a selection upstairs.
“My daughters and I work from home and he’s known for crashing Zoom meetings.
“When he’s not on Zoom, he’s watching ‘cat TV’ – we’ve set up a bird feeding station outside the window,” she laughs.
Kylo’s still in touch with his previous owners and the McCalls, who visit regularly.
“Kay’s become a good friend now, so Kylo’s got all his mums and friends who come and visit him,” Ingrid says.