The cat that got the...gardening gloves?

FOLLOWING a spate of thefts from Marina Allotments, the culprit was revealed to be none other than Max, a feisty feline with a penchant for gardening gloves.

As reported in the Observer last week (June 21), Max’s cover was blown when he pinched the favourite cap of a four-year-old boy called Daniel, from the St Leonards allotments, and was chased through a hedge and into a nearby garden.

Dave Ashwood, with Max the cat and his latest haul of gardening gloves stolen from Marina Allotments.

Dave Ashwood, with Max the cat and his latest haul of gardening gloves stolen from Marina Allotments.

The cap proved to be the tip of the iceberg, as Max was sitting on a haul of more than 200 gloves and other items.

Max resides in Tudor Avenue with Dave and Steph Ashwood and their two daughters, and belongs to 12-year-old Robyn, who attends school in London, but always returns home keen to see what the cat has dragged in.

Dave, a building surveyor, said that Max had been bringing home unusual items ever since the family had moved to St Leonards from Bexhill around five years ago.

Over the years Max has returned with socks, outdoor clothing, and even marigolds, however he specialises in recovering gardening gloves, and has even on occasion returned to complete the pair.

Dave said: “We had two bin bags full of gloves but he has also brought in socks and clothing. Over the winter, when there are no gloves, he brings in egg boxes.”

Max’s prey does also include the more typical birds, slow worms, and frogs, Dave added.

“If you get up in the middle of the night and he’s dropped a glove and you tread on it, it frightens the life out of you!”

The Ashwoods have another cat, Garfield, belonging to 14-year-old Meg, but he is less cat burglar, and more scaredy-cat.

Max, sitting proudly on his latest haul was approached for comment, but he showed his softer side and purred in response. The Ashwood family are proud of their pet, but allotment-holders be warned, this cat does not pussyfoot around.

Watch a short clip of Max in relaxation mode online at