The Cat Graduates










Ah yes, I do still remember the month I completed my apprenticeship - it was a very interesting time, with a lot of things I had to do in order to be approved by The BA as a qualified cat burglar.


The first was the last job I did with my mentor it was at the time of the Cheltenham Races, and we made our way into a nearby hotel with the intention of making sure one of the guests at the races donated generously to us. He was taking a back seat as the lookout I was in the driving seat, as I opened the cases and found some nice pieces of jewellery inside.


So, of course it was my bad luck that just as I was closing one particular case, the person in question walked into the room. She was wearing a white top with a Peter Pan collar and short puffed sleeves, and a pair of black baggy pants, the lower half of which were tucked into a pair of knee fawn suede boots which were tightly laced up to her knees at the front. She also had a large white straw boater on her short dark hair and an expression of total surprise as I put my finger to my lips, and pulled an old wooden chair out from a desk, indicating she should take a seat on it.


I regret to say that speed was of the essence in my mind, as I took from under the jewels in my bag a roll of silver tape, placed her arms on the armrests with her hands palm down, and secured her arms to the wooden supports. I then wrapped the tape round her waist and the chair back, and around her upper arms, before I knelt down and taped her ankles together. It seemed a shame to damage what were obviously designer boots, but I had to make sure she could not raise the alarm, while still ensuring I did not hurt her.


The last thing was to press strips of the silver tape over her mouth, to keep her quiet, before I slipped out of the room with my bag, my mentor who had been watching in the shadows the whole time following me out. He complimented me on a job well done, and said that was the last time he felt he had to accompany me but I would be asked to make four visits, and assessed on how I coped with and collected whatever I may find there.








Remember this was the mid-seventies, so the younger generation did like to dress both in line with the rules, and also in their own style. The first house I was told to visit had to be visited between 4 and 6 in the afternoon, and the people who lived there worked in the nearby town and would be out of the house then. Something, however, told me there was going to be an unannounced challenge in this visit, so I went suitably prepared.


Th bathroom window had been left open, so I gained entrance to the house that way, and had a productive search around the upstairs room. It was as I walked down the stairs I heard the music suddenly start to play and when I looked in the front room, there was a seventeen year old girl there with long black hair, wearing a white blouse with short sleeves and a short red tartan skirt and a pair of knee length black leather boots with a block heel, the tops of the black stockings visible as she danced round.


It was the daughter of the family, who had obviously finished school early or more likely sneaked off early. So she was naturally taken by surprise by the leather gloved hand that I placed firmly over her mouth, as I told her not to struggle, I was not going to hurt her just make sure she could not raise the alarm for a while.


My voice was at least persuasive, as I told her to sit on the couch, and not say a word as I tied her wrists together in front of her with thin twine. I then knelt down and secure her ankles together, and then bound her legs together above her knees.


I then made her sit along the couch, and lifted her legs up before I tied her wrists down to the band around her legs. I tried to ignore the glimpse of the top of her stockings as I rolled up a black scarf and cleave gagged the young lady, she watched me as I went round the room and helped myself to some pieces of antiquity that had been on prominent display on the shelves.


I then checked she was still secure, before I made my way out of the house at about five thirty and got away as far and as quickly as I could. I had at least prevented her raising the alarm and learned a valuable lesson.


Be prepared is indeed a worthy creed.





The next thing I had to be assessed on was how I dealt if there was more than one person resident when I visited as I discovered when I entered the rear of a house in the Dulwich area of Manchester. The home belonged to Diana Poole a star of one of the soap operas that was being produced in the aera at the time. A woman in her early thirties, with long blonde hair, and as I looked in the room that afternoon she was wearing a long-sleeved Bibi dress, with ruched upper body and sleeves, and billowing lower sleeves and skirt. The dress was cream, with a brown pattern printed on it, and she was wearing long laced black leather boots.


It was who she was with that caught my interest. Her name was Noelle Jameson, a fellow actress on the soap, with long curly brown hair and wearing a black jumper, a long grey silk skirt with a black rose print, and tight black leather boots as well as an expression of joy on her face as they kissed.


Replaced by the look of fear as she saw me in my black jumper and pants, and the dark glasses as I told them both not to move I was just ging to make them both very comfortable. Diana asked me as she looked back what I meant by that and then she saw the lengths of rope in my hand, and swallowed.


I invited them to stand facing each other, and to put their arms round each other, before I placed the ropes on the seat they had been sharing, and used the first length to secure Noelle’s wrists together behind Diana’s back, making sure the binding was cinched between her arms. I then walked round and secured Diana’s wrists behind Noelle’s back, so they at least had the pleasure of holding each other.


I then told them both to kneel down, which they did with my help, before I knelt behind Diana and started to bond her ankles tightly together. I glanced up to see them kissing each other, as I made sure that binding was tight, and then ran a length of rope between Diana’s ankles and Noelle’s wrists so that she could not really move.


I then moved behind Noelle and made sure her ankles were secured together and to Diana’s wrists, but they kept kissing each other, not really just to distract themselves from what was going on, to be fair.


I left them to console and encourage each other as I availed myself of the opportunity to search Diana’s house for valuables, and also to collect two chiffon scarves from her bedroom. These I used to at least muffle any attempts they may make to call for help by employing them as cleave gags but something told me they were too busy keeping each other happy to think of calling for help for a little while





It was dawning on me now they were selecting targets for me that may pose some of the more off the wall problems I might encounter. My next one was a basement flat in the Southall area of London a very nice flat, actually, and the woman who lived there had some lovely items that were truly of value.


The loveliest item, the one of the greatest value, however? That I was not able to take because when she walked in on me, I saw she was about seven months pregnant. She was wearing a pale blue bib dress that covered her bump, but still was a mini style, over a floral print blouse with short, puffed sleeves and a pair of red knee length leather go-go boots.


The first thing I did was to speak calmly to her, assure her she was not in any danger, and sat her down on a long couch as she managed to calm herself down after the surprise of seeing me. She sked me what I was doing there, and I was honest with her I was robbing her, but I was also going to make sure she could not raise the alarm but I would make sure she was as comfortable as possible, and do nothing that might actually distress the new life that was growing inside her.


She nodded as I took from my bag a skein of cotton rope, which I unravelled and doubled over before I told her to sit quite still, with her hands on her lap. Once she had done this, I passed the rope round her upper arms and gently pulled it tighter, forcing her arms against her sides so that they were held in place.


I then invited her to stand up, and took the rope down her back before I wound it round her waist, under the bump, and then around her wrists to hold them firmly together. I then put a pair of cushions on the arm of the couch, and helped her to lie on her back before I played the rope out, and secured her legs together below her knees, and finally around her ankles. I asked her if she was comfortable, and smiled as she nodded and I stroked her hair away from her eyes.


I then said that, regrettably, I had to keep her quiet, and was she allergic to cloth plasters. She shook her head, and then I pressed a length of brown Elastoplast down over her mouth to keep her quiet before I searched the rest of the flat.


I checked she was all right, and then made my way out calling the police to inform them of her predicament an hour later, once I was far enough away.



You can see the pattern, can’t you unexpected arrival, two together, someone who had to be treated with due care and consideration? So why was I not surprised at my next assignment? I was though


I was in Ruislip, a charming town in the northwest of London, and having taken the Metropolitan line out there I was walking to a residential area nearby, and found the address I had been given. Nice little terraced house on a leafy avenue and the front door was open as well, as I made my way in.


I could not hear anyone actually in, so I walked to the staircase, but when I stepped on the first step I heard a female voice say “who’s there?”


I walked into the front room to see a woman in her thirties sitting there, wearing a zipped top with chocolate brown, red and cream panels over a purple roll neck sweater, a black mini skirt and white knee length boots. She had long brown hair, and had a book on her lap as she said “I can hear you who are you?”


I then looked at her eyes, and walked forward, seeking the slight shake in her hand as she moved it over the bumps on the pages of the book.


“Who is there?”


“Don’t be afraid,” I said quietly as I sat next to her, “I promise you; I am not going to hurt you.”


“You have a kind voice may I know your name?”


“John and may I know yours?”


“Morag tell me, John, why are you in my house?”


“I am here, I regret to say, as a robber. Does that frighten you?”


“No you have a kind voice, so I know that you mean me no harm,” she said as she smiled. “But I suspect that means I will not be able to read my book for a while.”


“I regret to say, you will not may I turn the radio on for you?”


“That would be nice, thank you,” she said as I walked over and turned on the player. As the sounds of David Hamilton’s voice came over the air, she smiled and said “Well, whatever happens, I will be entertained. I presume you are going to tie me up and gag me, like on the radio plays?”


“I have to, yes but that is all. You believe me, don’t you?”


Morag nodded as she said “So, do I put my hands behind my back?”


“Please.” I watched as she turned slightly and closed her book, letting it go to the floor before she moved her hands behind her back.. I drew from my bag a length of thin white cord, and made sure her wrists were secured tightly together behind her back.


“Surprisingly comfortable,” she said as she smiled, and I knelt in front of her, using another length of cord to make sure her ankles were secured together as well. She twisted them round, hearing the squeak of rope on leather and leather on leather, and then nodded as she said “so how are you going to keep me quiet?”


“I could trust you to keep your word and not call for help.”


“And would you do that for anyone else?”


I had to confess, she did have a point there, so I rolled up a black scarf, tied a knot in the middle, and then pulled the knot past her teeth and into her mouth before I tied the band round her head, and left her sitting there, taking to her while I searched the room, and then briefly visiting the bedrooms before I bade her a good afternoon, and made my way out.





Given I did not hear anything about those previous visits, I presumed I had satisfied everyone, but I still had one more visit to play. It was early afternoon about 3 o’clock and I was walking down past houses on a street in Mayfair, before I stopped outside a three storey rebrick building.


As someone came out, I took the opportunity to get inside, and then used a set of lockpicks to open the ground floor flat door on the right. I could hear a television set playing as I closed the front door, and then walked slowly down to look in the front room.


A young woman was polishing some items on a shelf unit. She was wearing a black silk blouse over a grey roll neck sweater, a long grey wool skirt, and black patent leather boots, and with her back to me I knew she had not seen me yet.


S I coughed slightly, and she turned and looked at me, then let the cloth drop to the floor as I assured her I was not going to hurt her. I asked who she was, and she said she was the au pair cum nanny. She spoke with an American accent in fact, she looked like an older version of that kid in Taxi Driver, Jodie Foster. So I said I was going to have to make sure she could not raise the alarm while I robbed the place, and told her to walk into the dining room.


In there, I pulled a chair away and told her to take a seat, and to put her arms round the chair back. When she did so, I opened the bag I was taking and took a length of brown rope out, before I secured her wrists tightly together and then tied them to the back of the chair.


I then knelt to her side and took her booted ankle to one side, securing it to the leg of the chair before I did the same thing on the other side. I then stood up, before I heard a girl’s voice behind me saying “what are you doing to Nanny?”


I turned to see a thirteen-year-old girl standing there, wearing a grey striped pinafore dress over a white blouse, and brown Frye style knee length leather boots and with a satchel over one shoulder. It would appear one of the family was home from school, as the nanny looked back and said it was all right, she had not been hurt but she was to do whatever I said as well.


So I told her to walk over and put her books on the table, and then to take a seat on a second chair before she put her hands behind her back. The seats had narrow wooden slats on the back far enough art that I could take the new arrival’s arms between the slats and then tie her wrists together, before tying them to the centre spar. I then took a longer length and lashed her upper body to the chair back before I used a second length of rope to do the same to the au pair.


She talked to the girl, telling her they could practice their French verbs while they were sat there, as I knelt down next to her and bound her ankles tightly together with more of the rope. She then looked at me as I stood up, and I nodded to show I agreed as I left them talking to each other while I searched the rest of the flat.


It certainly was a productive visit but I did have to do one more thing. I took from my bag a roll of black tape, and tape gagged both the au pair and the daughter in the chair, before I left them there.




So after that visit, I got a call from me mentor to come and see him and that was the night I was fully admitted to the BA, and began my chosen career.







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