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“They Stole My Damn Cat!”: SoCal Couple Swipes Beloved Bay Area Cat, Nubbins

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Not the missing cat in question, but a sweet tabby cat nonetheless. (Photo courtesy Pixabay)

Last December, Troy Farrell received a call from VCA Los Altos Animal Hospital. A veterinarian had discovered a microchip that identified Farrell as the owner of Nubbins, a sweet tabby cat.

However, Farrell had no knowledge of this vet visit, and Nubbins had inexplicably traveled from Sonoma to Long Beach within a few weeks. 

What happened here? 

The vet could not disclose who brought Nubbins to the animal hospital, but Farrell soon began to piece the story together. Farrell’s neighbor, Terry Muller, recalled a strange interaction with a couple who was vacationing at an Airbnb in the neighborhood. 

“The day after Thanksgiving, my wife and I were sitting in our chairs in our living room and we noticed a woman walking up between my wife’s car,” Muller told the Sonoma-Index Tribune. “The woman began asking questions about Nubbins — ‘Is it an indoor or outdoor cat? What breed is the cat? What’s the name of the cat?’ — and then she left.”

When Farrell returned from a trip over Thanksgiving, Nubbins had vanished. 

Nubbins was a highly independent outdoor cat, so Farrell didn’t panic. That is, not until he discovered Nubbins was hundreds of miles away, in the grips of two strangers who refused to communicate. 

Apparently, the veterinary hospital wasn’t much help, either.

Joseph Campbell, the director of external affairs at VCA Animal Hospitals, simply offered a California Veterinary Medical Association document that read, “Regardless of how the veterinarian chooses to proceed… the veterinarian cannot disclose client information to the person identified by scanning the microchip.” 

Farrell then turned to the Airbnb owner, Matthew Knudsen, but Knudsen refused to identify the vacationing couple. 

“It’s the most ludicrous circle of protecting the people who stole my cat as opposed to protecting me, who lost my cat,” Farrell said in late January

Farrell has filed a police report and is currently waiting to hear whether the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office will charge the mysterious couple. Until then, Nubbins will remain in their possession. 

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Lydia Sviatoslavsky

Lydia Sviatoslavsky

Lydia Sviatoslavsky covers culture and curiosities for Bay City News and Broke-Ass Stuart. She publishes artist interviews and experimental writing at You can find her on Instagram at @rot_thought.

1 Comment

  1. Jay
    February 5, 2022 at 3:22 pm — Reply

    Thats jacked up! They need to get this man cat back!

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