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Socks’ feat: Scamming neighbors for food

Jamie Lusch / Mail Tribune Shania Jordan feeds her cat, Socks, at her home in Eagle Point.
Eagle Point cat’s wandering ways create need for social-media warning

In lieu of her cat, Socks, having even the slightest semblance of shame or standards pertaining to stranger danger, Eagle Point resident Shania Jordan was recently forced to go on the offensive.

Via a thorough public shaming, Jordan warned neighbors and surrounding community members of her feline’s possible side-hustle.

Posting a photo of the black and white tuxedo-style shyster on social media, Jordan said, while it likely goes against basic common instinct, if a desperately crying cat shows up pleading for food or a place to sleep ... “DO NOT BUY INTO THE HYPE.”

The yowling likely comes from the 5-year-old drama queen Jordan has owned since it was just a couple months old.

The post read, “Have you seen me sneaking into your house? Around Gemini or Crystal Drive? My name is Socks and I am the best scam artist there is. I even know how to fake a limp! Anything for a can of wet food or a different food than my mom feeds me.”

The post went on to explain that the cat is not a stray, rather an “attention whore” and is very much loved and wanted at her ACTUAL home.

Recently moving from Medford to Eagle Point, Jordan’s social media pleas yielded everything from snickers to genuine concern. When her beloved cat went missing the first time last year, she was worried sick.

Turning up a few weeks later, her relief was short-lived when the pattern began to repeat itself.

“I’ve had her since she was a kitten. She was a rescue,” Jordan said. “She’s very spoiled and very loved but, about a year ago, she kept going missing and I would call her and call her. She almost always would respond when I called her … apparently, that is, unless she’s up to something.”

“One day I put a collar on her and it had my number on it. I got a phone call from some lady I didn’t know. She said, ‘Hi, I’m your neighbor and I wanted to let you know that Socks has been visiting me and staying the night at my house. She LOVES wet food!’”

Mystery solved.

Gauging by at least one neighbor’s confession — and the cat’s expanding love handles — she’s been seeking and scoring food and shelter at a slew of places.

“I was like, ‘She’s obsessed with wet food but it’s making her fat. Please don’t feed her that because then she’ll never come home.’”

It began to happen often enough, I’d text different neighbors to check on her and say, ‘Hey, do you have Socks?’”

Turned out, when on the lamb, Socks had been “making herself at home” on the couches and beds of neighboring homes. Jordan’s neighbor Patty Walker admits that the cat put on a convincing act.

“She found me one day and came right inside my house. Then she decided to stay for a couple weeks one time. When she came over wearing a tag, I called the owner and was like, “Your cat has been coming here every day and some nights,” Walker said with a laugh.

“My other cats loved her, and she is a really great cat. Before she showed up with the tag, I thought she was trying to adopt me. Sometimes she would just show up to take naps on my cats’ beds. When I realized she belonged to somebody, I would text and say, ‘I’ll put her outside and close the door so you can call her to come home.’”

Jordan said her post on social media elicited sympathy from fellow cat owners and some unsolicited cat-rearing advice.

Said one user, “I promise if your attention whore comes to my house, I’ll definitely try to get her and I’ll definitely (message) you.”

Another quipped, “Have you considered putting an air tag on her?”

Quick to insist she’s not running a halfway house for wayward cats, though she suspects one of her other cats might be thieving gloves from surrounding neighborhoods, Jordan said posting online was an easy way to warn neighbors.

With dozens of comments, it made for a good laugh.

It's always good practice, she noted, to assume that a seemingly well-fed cat could be living a double or triple life.

With trappers reported in surrounding neighborhoods, Jordan is hoping to encourage Socks to spend more time at home, and to discourage neighbors from thinking they’ve adopted a new kitty, however convincing she looks nestled on their furniture.

“I posted because I just wanted people to know, if you’re not sure a cat is homeless, don’t start spoiling it so it won’t go home. It could be like my cat, just out there pretending to be starving and homeless,” she said with a laugh.

“I’m pretty sure that she just wants wet food with every meal, and she wants to be in charge of when she gets it.”

She added, “I’m trying not to give in to her demands, but I guess I might have to give her a little more wet food to keep her home more often. I have to find some way to keep her from going out, living her fake life and scamming little old ladies out of canned wet food.”

Reach freelance writer Buffy Pollock at buffyp76@yahoo.com.