The man reportedly explained to the judge presiding over Vienna's regional court that he stole the money because he was the owner of a purebred cat that desperately required a large sum of money to be taken care of properly.
You don't need to be sent out in the middle of a snowstorm in search of an organic dog laxative for Mr. Belvedere, your aunt's beloved Bichon Frise, to know that a person's love for their pet can make them do some damn crazy things.
So crazy, in fact, that one man recently ended up going to jail for a Machiavellian scheme to embezzle tens of thousands of euros from the supermarket he managed—all in the name of his precious kitty.
European news site The Local reports that a 35-year-old supermarket manager from Vienna, Austria has just been handed a six-month probationary sentence after he was caught embezzling more than $21,338—supposedly to pay for expenses he incurred from owning a cat.
The man reportedly explained to the judge presiding over Vienna's regional court that he stole the money because he was the owner of a purebred cat that desperately required a large sum of money to be taken care of properly. He told the court that "I once had to pay €1,200 ($1,279) for it to have an operation."
What the supermarket manager intended to do with the other $20,044 he embezzled isn't exactly clear, but the man also admitted to using the funds to pay for the monthly installments on his own health insurance.
A cat burglar? In a manner of speaking.
To pull off the embezzlement, the manager faked receipts for returned goods, reported that expensive bottles of Champagne had broken in the store, and tricked his employees into thinking that their tills didn't balance at the end of the day—and made them pay the difference. He even went so far as to make one naive apprentice pay back his entire month's income to account for a till that supposedly didn't balance. Under Austrian law, an apprentice can't be held responsible for a till deficit—even if there really is one.
It's true what they say about love making a man do crazy things. Just ask this dude's cat.