A VACATIONING family took a cat from their rental home and then wrote a letter to the town’s sheriff explaining why they won’t be giving it back.
James Wakefield, 70, alleged that a mistreated stray named Nubbins was not owned by anyone and that it was fair to take the cat home with him to be taken care of, according to his letter sent to the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office.
In the three-page letter, Wakefield explains that he stole the feline because no one was taking care of her and that she had been hungry, thirsty, and cold when they found her upon arrival at their vacation rental on Railroad Avenue.
When the Sonoma County Sheriff Mark Essick told Wakefield that the cat had to be returned to Troy Farrell, its legal owner – who lived in the neighborhood of the Airbnb – Wakefield said that the family was “never going to let that cat get put back in the living condition she was in without a fight.”
Farrell has responded to Wakefield’s accusations of neglect by sharing pictures and videos of times where he’s cared for the cat in his home over the four years she’s lived in the neighborhood, despite his claim that Nubbins enjoys being an outdoor cat.
“She has so many people who take care of her,” Farrell told a local news outlet. “She doesn’t want to be an indoor cat. She doesn’t want to be stuck in a house. She just likes to be out and about doing her thing because that’s how she came out.”
The Californian litigator and trial attorney and his family met Nubbins on their first day in Sonoma for Thanksgiving in November. The 10-pound cat was missing her upper lip and most of her tail and was “obviously hungry.”
When Wakefield asked the Airbnb homeowner about the cat, he was told that she was a stray cat in the neighborhood who wasn’t allowed in any of the neighbor’s houses even in the freezing weather.
She became very popular among Wakefield’s family, though she slept in the house’s backyard they still found ways to “basically just love her” by petting her and providing food and water throughout their five-day stay.
Wakefield’s daughter became concerned about the cat’s health and asked the homeowner if it would be possible for James and his wife to bring Nubbins back home with them.
The owner responded with an enthusiastic yes, according to Wakefield, even saying that it would be “awesome if someone adopted her and gave her a good home.”
Upon taking her to the vet once they returned home, Wakefield discovered that Nubbins had been microchipped by the Farrell family before they got her neutered so that she wouldn’t have any more neighborhood kittens.
The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office became involved, prompting Wakefield’s letter of retaliation wherein it details how frustrating this dispute of Nubbin’s ownership has been.
“The cat either dies for lack of medical care or the cat is returned to a neighborhood that doesn’t care enough about her to protect her from predators or get her out of the freezing windy rain she finds herself in each winter,” Wakefield wrote .
“And Sheriff that says everything I need to know about your character and the character of your organization.”
Nubbins is currently with the Wakefields in Irvine, California.
“I am certain you will continue to do whatever you can to prevail and get the little cat back outside in the neighborhood where she belongs,” Wakefield wrote in the conclusion of the letter.
“And you can be assured that your 70-year-old cat nappers will do everything in our ability to protect her.”
It’s unclear if either party will take legal action for the “cat-napping.”
The Sun has reached out to Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office for comment.
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