The woman accused of stealing an 8-week-old kitten from the Washington Humane Society had a reason, according to authorities.
“I had to turn in my dog, and my daughters wanted another pet,” the 24-year-old told detectives.
She appeared to have had a plan.
“I had a bag and I put it in there.”
And she was worried the kitten might meow.
“Surprised she didn’t cry.”
But in the end, D.C. police detectives, who described the woman’s comments in court papers, relied on the shelter’s sign-in sheet and surveillance video to track her to a Southeast Washington apartment. They knocked on her door and reported seeing the gray-and-black, pink-nosed tabby named Callista peeking out from under an ottoman in the living room.
Case closed on what police dubbed the “kitten caper.”
Porsha Nicole Evans was arraigned Thursday in D.C. Superior Court on one count of misdemeanor theft. She was released pending a status hearing July 2.
“I apologize for everything,” Evans said in a brief telephone interview Thursday. “I am truly sorry for what happened.”
Evans said she had to give up her pit bull because it had grown too big for her two daughters — a 5-year-old and 3-month-old — and the older child wanted another pet. She said she couldn’t afford the $85 adoption fee.
“I really can’t afford anything right now,” Evans said. “I really didn’t mean to do what I did. It was one of those spur-of-the-moment things. I wanted to do something for my daughter.”
Christie Lyn Diller, director of marketing and communications for the Humane Society, said the staff “really works hard with people to make sure they can afford the animals.”
That includes letting people take home two cats for one fee. And, Diller pointed out, there’s a deal this month knocking the cat adoption fee down to $25.
Police said the suspect in this case arrived at the New York Avenue shelter in Northeast Washington for a May 26 adoption day. Evans came with her two small children, arriving with a male companion who drove a separate car, they said. The man signed the log book at 1:12 p.m. He provided an address.
Authorities said the four went into a room where they could play with the kitten. A short time later, police said they left, with the woman holding a bag. Dozens of people were playing with animals, and staffers didn’t notice that Callista — which means “most beautiful” in Greek — had gone missing until inventory was taken later that Sunday night.
Court documents say a shelter worker noticed that the woman carrying the bag had driven off in a silver car.
The employee cued up a surveillance tape showing the car arrive and then compared the time stamp to the sign-in sheet. That worker put a star next to a name, police said, leading them to the apartment in Southeast on May 30.
When the detective saw the kitten, court documents said, the woman told him, “A friend had brought the kitten over, a day ago.”
The officer asked Evans, “Is that the cat from the shelter?”
The court document states Evans answered: “It sure is.”
The officer took Callista back to the shelter, where Diller said she was adopted June 3. Diller would only describe the kitten’s new owners as “a loving family who is really excited to bring her home.”