Cat-nappers may face charges in Humane Society kitten caper

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A kitten-napping at the Memphis Humane Society ended in that kitten’s safe return less than 24 hours later Friday.

A viral Facebook post with video of the accused kitten-nappers was posted Friday morning and not long after, shelter staff said the woman in the video walked in with the kitten and apologized.

Staff at the Humane Society of Memphis and Shelby County thought they might have found the purr-fect home for Mavis, a three-month-old white-and-tabby, when the man and woman walked in Thursday afternoon around 4:45.

They asked for an adoption form and a staffer went to get it. But when they returned, Mavis was gone and so was the couple.

Staff members said they did a search of the building, thinking perhaps the cat got out and was doing some exploring.

It turns out the only searching they needed to do was through surveillance footage.

The clip didn’t show what happens next, but executive director Ellen Zahariadis was more than happy to describe it.

“When she left, they got the cat out of the kennel, wrapped it in a jacket and left the building,” Zahariadis said.

Early Friday morning, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office posted surveillance video on Facebook.

It only took two hours, they say, before someone messaged them the names of both man and woman.

And then the woman showed up, back at the Humane Society with Mavis, and with an apology — but no explanation.

“We were just delighted to see that Mavis was back in our arms and healthy and happy,” Zahariadis said.

Mavis is healthy and happy, and quickly settling back into his routine with his cagemate, Prince, while he waits for a forever home, with pet parents willing to go through the proper channels.

‘We want to make matches that last forever,” Zahariadis said. “We want these to be good matches for everyone involved.”

Mavis had only been at the shelter a few days when all of this happened, but they expect it won’t be long before he’s adopted now with all of the attention this is getting.

Both suspects are still at large, but the sheriff’s office says charges are likely.


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