San Luis Obispo woman hoping to get her cat back

October 12, 2020



When San Luis Obispo resident Kelly Anderson lost her cat Maulks in late August, she never thought she’d have to fight to get her beloved cat back.

Anderson was surprised at the community support she received after her 13-year-old three-legged cat failed to come home. She placed missing cat signs around town and posted a plea on Nextdoor for neighbors to help her find her cat.

“Even strangers have reached out to help,” Anderson said. “It is very encouraging.”

On Saturday, SLO City Council candidate James Papp said he knew where the cat was, but did not disclose the location.

“Found Maulks safe in a new home,” Papp responded to Anderson on Nextdoor. “More later.”

Maulks has always lived as an indoor and outdoor cat, often wandering around its downtown neighborhood. On several occasions, Anderson has retrieved her cat from Papp’s place.

Papp said his door was open, the cat walked in, and he fed Maulks.

During the past three days, Papp and Anderson have gone back and forth on Nextdoor, with Papp insisting the cat is happy in its new home, and Anderson pleading for him to tell her where her cat is located.

Papp argues that when you allow a cat to wander outside, you have a reasonable expectation it will not come back. He also questions if anyone can truly own a cat.

Exchange from Nextdoor:

Anderson: “Why wouldn’t you tell me where or give them my info so I can get him back? You know I’ve been worried and trying to find him. This message makes me upset. As if your the one to decide whats best. Can you please give me their info.”

Papp: “The person who had Maulks is themself very upset. Someone told me not to get involved because everyone would be upset at me, but I wanted you to know he is safe.”

Anderson: “Why would they be upset? It is not their cat. Why would you tell me you know where he is, but won’t tell me? I have been searching for over a month. Called animal services multiple times. Filed reports. Fliers. Gone door to door. And your telling me that what these people are doing is ok. You are supporting theft. Aren’t you running for city council? Aren’t you supposed to help the people of this city?”

Papp argues that it is not reasonable to let cats wander, and that if she loved the cat, she would keep it indoors.

“It is now an indoor cat, and it is happy,” Papp said. “The cat has three legs because it is allowed to wander.”

Papp claims Anderson has left the cat unattended when she leaves town for work, showing she does not love the cat.

“If she loves this animal, she would not let it wander,” Papp said. “It is not my business. This is taking away from city issues such as homelessness and climate change.”

Anderson says Papp does not know her, and that when she works out of town, she hires a cat sitter.

Anderson is hoping to be reunited with Maulks, and has filed a police report.


Another morally superior and self righteous political candidate; watch out if he gets elected.


Hmmm, seems Papp is incredibly sadistic and NON transparent. He kidnapped this cat and is playing games with Kelly. It’s obvious he has the cat. And is trapping her inside the house so she can’t go home. I’m sure if he would open his door the cat would leave. Poor Cat!! She needs to go back to her owner!

Buns N Roses

This is a self-inflicted Papp smear to his own likability


No surprise he was fired from the Cultural Heritage Committee with an attitude and behavior he exhibits. Typical of someone with lots of education but little wisdom.


That’s exactly what I thought when I read his posts on Nextdoor and Facebook. Arrogant and self-righteous, putting his own personal value judgments ahead of someone else’s happiness. Sheesh.


Agreed, easy to buy an education…wisdom is much harder to obtain, it must be earned!


It is in the nature of cats to wander. Many people allow their cats to wander. When a cat goes missing, it is a matter of simple human decency to tell the owner where the cat is (barring situations involving animal abuse which is obviously not the situation in the present case),


Isn’t it the nature of many animals to wander but once a human gets involved things change. I’m also sure many of the non cat people dont enjoy finding the gifts left by other people’s cats left to wander and use their yards, flower beds, and such as litter boxes.

kevin rise

Agreed, cats should strictly be indoors. Non native, excellent hunters, kill massive amounts of native wild life, up to 30 animals in two weeks; one cat. I love cats, sheltered around 5 or 6 strays, but they are legally represented better than native species due to humanization of them sadly, not ok. They are a nuisance vermant by definition.


Not many cats can kill 30 animals in 2 weeks. This false narrative has been pushed by Smithsonian magazine for years to vilify cats and blame them for the decline in the bird population, and sadly has given “permission” to animal abusers.


Papp is clearly a pompous ass. I’d have the police involved. Sounds to me like stolen property.


I would think the police would love to visit Papp after he taunted them with his published comment in New Times on August 13th that he didn’t get arrested as “…white demonstrators (including myself) who have broken the law by marching in the streets and on the freeway…”

Apparently you can admit to a crime and publish an artifact about breaking the law and face no punishment in SLO if you’re running for office. Someone scan the 3 legged kitty for a microchip and make a citizen’s arrest of Papp for aiding and abetting theft also.

kevin rise

The legality behind this is so undeveloped compared to that of a dog, which is represented in court. A good shooting off dialogue for damage of property and nature due to cats. What is the value literally of birds etc, we place value on bats in the USA, they contribute to billions of dollars in insect management.


We may not know the whole story, but it is in no way, shape, or form the right of James Papp to decide the fate of Kelly Anderson’s cat.



Another liberal who knows what’s best for others.


This has nothing to do with being a liberal or conservative. It has to do with being an ass.


Good grief! James lost my vote. Tell the woman where her cat is!

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