For the second time in three weeks, a cat painting was stolen from a local home in Davis on Friday night. To the residents of 123 Oak Lane, the news does not come as a surprise.
“A few friends came over,” said Nathaniel Bernhard, a friend of the victims. “Not long after, the painting was gone. It’s a catastrophe.”
The painting is not actually a painting. Rather, the painting is a framed poster of two cats sitting on a chair with a mouse dangling from the mouth of one of the cats.
The residents of the home were alarmed upon learning of the first theft. They received a ransom note to get it back from their neighbors, who had conspired to take it. After a long negotiation process, Jake Elter, a victim and leader of the charge for justice, offered the robbers $63 of Aggie Cash in exchange for the painting’s safe return home.
Two weeks later, it was gone again.
“The second time it happened, we knew it was a joke,” added a frustrated Arad Talehakimi, a resident of the home. “It’s just frustrating that things like this occur. We open our home up to our friends, and things get stolen.”
After Talehakimi and his housemates filed multiple complaints with the UC Davis Police Department, the university began to notice the popularity of the item. Jake Elter and Michael Wexler, another victim, did their best to blast Facebook with notices about their painting. They hoped that someone would step up and return it to its rightful owners. Their plan backfired, and soon, many Davis students were clamoring to get their own cat paintings.
The UC Davis marketing team decided to embrace the “cat fever.” Replica cat paintings will be sold at the student store so that members of the Davis community can have their own piece of memorabilia.
Elter, Talehakimi and Wexler will hold the original cat painting in their home. They are aware of the security threat that comes with having such a rare item.
“We essentially have the Mona Lisa of Davis,” Wexler said.
Elter’s words to people that come over in the future stand as a threat: “Keep your paws off.”
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