‘Guard cat’ credited with preventing would-be robbery

Category: Human Interest


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. break into (something) / breɪk ˈɪn tu / (idiom) – to enter a place illegally and by force

    Five men broke into the bank last night and took over $5 million.

  2. alert / əˈlɜrt / (v.) – to warn

    The loud alarm alerted the people to the fire.

  3. in the world / ɪn ðə wɜrld / (idiom) – in any conditions or of all possible things

    I don’t understand why in the world someone would do skydiving.

  4. handgun / ˈhændˌgʌn / (n.) – a gun you can hold or use with one hand

    The police got a handgun from the robber.

  5. intruder / ɪnˈtruː dɚ / (n.) – a person who goes into a place where they are not allowed to be in

    The security cameras recorded how the intruder climbed over the fence.


Read the text below.

A Mississippi man said his pet cat helped prevent a robbery at his home, and he credits the calico with possibly saving his life.

Bandit, a 20-pound (9.1-kilogram) cat, lives with her retired owner Fred Everitt in the Tupelo suburb of Belden. When at least two people tried to break into their shared home, the cat did everything she could to alert Everitt of the danger, he told the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal.

“You hear of guard dogs,” said Everitt, 68. “This is a guard cat.”

The attempted robbery occurred sometime between 2:30 and 3 a.m. on July 25, Everitt said. He was first awoken by Bandit’s meows in the kitchen. Then, she raced into the bedroom, jumped onto the bed and began pulling the comforter off of him and clawing at his arms. Everitt knew something was wrong.

“She had never done that before,” Everitt said. “I went, ‘What in the world is wrong with you?’”

Everitt got up to investigate and saw two young men outside his back door. One had a handgun, and the other was using a crowbar to try and pry the door open, he said.

Everitt said by the time he retrieved a handgun and returned to the kitchen, the would-be intruders had already fled. Everitt told the newspaper that he did not call the police.

He said the situation could have been different without Bandit.

“It did not turn into a confrontational situation, thank goodness,” Everitt said. “But I think it’s only because of the cat.”

Everitt adopted Bandit from the Tupelo-Lee Humane Society four years ago.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Do you feel safe from intruders in your neighborhood? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • What actions are you taking to protect your home and family from intruders? What more do you think you should do? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Everitt adopted Bandit from a rescue shelter. What do you think are the advantages of adopting an animal from a shelter? What are its disadvantages? Discuss.
  • What do you think are the reasons why some animals are left in rescue centers? Do you think it’s possible for all animals in shelters to find a new and permanent home? Discuss.