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Meet Nancy: the spy cat who chases cleaners out of your house

Despite her adorable appearance, Nancy may have been a spy in a former life.

She is small, innocuous and fluffy, but despite her profound cuteness, Nancy the cat still managed to terrify a cleaner into fleeing from her west London flat.

Nancy’s owner Steve Gardner, 29, was baffled to receive a text message from the cleaner, informing him she had fled the scene after the black-and-white rescue cat jumped over her with “bare teeth”.

Steve said the behaviour was so out of character that he initially had to check they’d got the right address.

He said: “We’ve had the cleaner every fortnight since December. This is the first time we’ve had any reports of conflict but Nancy is, of course, very secretive.

“A previous cleaner in a different flat once asked who the litter tray was for because she never saw the cat – she was always hiding.”

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Nancy’s owner initially had to check the cleaner had entered the correct flat (Steve Gardner)

Nancy’s secretive demeanour may well have something to do with her murky past.

Steve collected her from Celia Hammond Animal Trust in Canning Town in 2014, after a previous owner gave her up in the belief she was a spy.

“It is possible that she has some formal combat training,” Steve explained, but none of her house-bound behaviour has previously given rise to suspicion.

He said: “We think she is about four years old. Nance is a sweet but very shy rescue cat – she hides in the wardrobe any time we have friends to visit.

“She’s never aggressive (to us!) but she is, it would seem, very protective. Her favourite things in the world are biscuits, olives and chin rubs.”

It all sounds utterly terrifying.

But if Nancy’s usual activities are confined to “sitting in the window and keeping an eye on the commuters going in and out of East Putney tube station”, it seems the poor cleaner may also be in for a few quiet days ahead.

Steve said as far as he knows the person in question has since resigned, effective immediately, and won’t be returning to face Nancy again any time soon.

In the meantime, Steve is going to ensure Nancy is okay before deciding whether he should risk hiring someone in her stead.

Nancy: you’ve well and truly spooked us all.

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