Man who allegedly stole cat from Sonoma County vacation rental writes letter to sheriff

On the shortest day of 2021, a Southern California person wrote a letter to Sonoma County Sheriff Mark Essick about a cat named Nubbins, who the guy admitted using in November from a getaway rental on Railroad Avenue in Sonoma.

The man, James R. Wakefield, a litigator and demo lawyer in Irvine, alleged that Nubbins was a mistreated stray who was not owned by everyone and that it was a humane conclusion to consider her, in accordance to his letter sent to the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Place of work.

When explained to that the vacationing loved ones had an obligation to return Nubbins to its nearby owner, Wakefield wrote, “We were hardly ever likely to enable that cat get set again in the dwelling ailment she was in without a struggle.”

Jim Wakefield letter to Sonoma County Sheriff Mark Essick.pdf

Wakefield adopted with a collection of accusations from the cat’s owner, Troy Farrell, who lives on Railroad Avenue. Wakefield alleges Farrell did not feed or give water to Nubbins, and he purposefully remaining her outside the house in the cold.

But Farrell and his neighbors forged a pretty unique description of Nubbins more than the 4 years she roamed the neighborhood. Films from Farrell present him opening the doorway to permit Nubbins inside of his dwelling at her request. And when Nubbins experienced her last litter of kittens, Farrell established up a cozy birthing space for her within, and helped elevate the kittens. Afterward, he took Nubbins to a veterinarian to have her chipped and spayed.

“She has so many men and women who choose treatment of her,” Farrell reported. “She would not want to be an indoor cat. She doesn’t want to be stuck in a dwelling. She just likes to be out and about carrying out her detail due to the fact that’s how she arrived out.”

Wakefield explained his spouse and children achieved Nubbins on the initially working day they arrived in Sonoma to celebrate the Thanksgiving weekend at the vacation rental. The cat was missing a piece of her lip and component of her tail, and was “obviously hungry” and “she scarfed down the food,” Wakefield wrote.

Nubbins “retreated” into the yard of Wakefield’s family vacation rental at evening, and he assumed the unit’s proprietor, Matthew Knudsen, also owned the cat. Wakefield reported he questioned Knudsen if the cat belonged to him.

“’She did not belong to anybody. It was a stray cat that confirmed up in the neighborhood 4 many years ago,’” Knudsen reported, in accordance to Wakefield’s letter. “Many of the neighbors would feed her (such as [Knudsen]). But none of the neighbors authorized her to arrive into their houses.”

Knudsen didn’t react to multiple makes an attempt by the Index-Tribune to focus on this story.

A cold spell established in, and Wakefield’s son “made an igloo mattress out of towels” the place Nubbins stayed for 4 days, he wrote. He claimed that the Wakefields had been the only persons who fed or presented water to her through their five-working day remain in Sonoma. Nevertheless, Railroad Avenue resident Terry Muller claimed he discovered Nubbins lacking when he observed her food items dish was continue to complete — he was a single of quite a few neighbors who fed the cat.

Wakefield’s daughter grew concerned and contacted Knudsen all over again inquiring if the Wakefields could choose the cat dwelling. “Not only did he say there would be no difficulty,” Wakefield wrote, “he said (his words and phrases) ‘it would be awesome if another person adopted her and gave her a great home.’”

And so Wakefield took the cat house with his spouse to Southern California.

Nubbins looked the aspect of an outdoor cat, complete — or rather incomplete — with a tail that had been lopped off at some issue. But she was barely unfed or homeless.

“That cat life so substantial it’s not even humorous,” Farrell reported. “That cat has so lots of houses, so numerous men and women, so many tiny girls to perform with down the block.”

Wakefield introduced Nubbins to VCA Los Altos Animal Clinic in Extensive Seaside for a wellness examine, which led to the discovery that the cat was microchipped with Farrell’s household as the set up proprietor in Sonoma. Wakefield’s first intent was to return the cat.

“Little did we know the human being who prompted her to be chipped was a neighbor who got tired of her having kittens in the neighborhood and required to neuter her,” he wrote.

The vet identified as the selection connected to Nubbins’ chip.

Just after Farrell submitted a police report, Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputy Justin Ritz contacted Wakefield, according to the letter, to notify the household they experienced an obligation to return Nubbins.

Wakefield alleged in his letter that neighborhood regulation enforcement had an anti-Southern Californian bias, which he reported was just one of the causes why the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Business sought Nubbins’ return.

“And sheriff, that states all the things I require to know about your character,” Wakefield summed up just after three web pages of allegations.

The Sonoma County District Attorney is nevertheless reviewing the circumstance, according to Brandon Gilbert, an administrative aide. If the DA’s Office environment does not opt for to file criminal prices, which is achievable as theft is only regarded criminal when benefit exceeds $950, it would be Farrell’s alternative no matter if or not to file a lawsuit versus Wakefield in civil court. It is unclear what the industry value of Nubbins would be, but California cat law states house owners have a proper to claim damages incurred to their pet.

“She came up in this neighborhood soon after the fires and she realized the place to go if she needed heat or indoor space or meals or just about anything she necessary. She understood particularly the place to go and we would normally give it for her,” Farrell mentioned. “You know, she adopted us.”

In the penultimate paragraph of the letter, Wakefield will make clear his intent to resist returning the cat to Sonoma.

“I am certain you will go on to do whatsoever you can to prevail and get the minor cat back again outside the house in the neighborhood where by she belongs,” Wakefield wrote. “And you can be confident that your 70-year-old cat nappers will do every little thing in out capacity to safeguard her.”

Get in touch with Chase Hunter at [email protected] and observe @Chase_HunterB on Twitter.