Cat Stash Fever in Petaluma, California

Read stories from local newspapers...

  • Rescuing cats from squalor (5/23/2001)
  • Petaluma Cat 'Hoarder' Arrested (5/23/01)
  • Cats overrun squalid home in Petaluma (5/24/01)
  • Woman's Past Troubles With Cats (5/24/01)
  • Cat owner says it started with 2 fecund felines (5/25/01)
  • Cat 'hoarders' are usually victims of mysterious obsession (5/27/01)
  • Extra security precautions taken in response to threats (6/2/01)
  • Petaluma Shelter Takes Custody of 196 Cats (6/3/01)
  • Barletta pleads innocent to animal cruelty (6/4/01)
  • She skipped neutering to avoid traumatizing pets (6/5/01)
  • Evil Bichon-tosser versus the crazy cat lady (6/8/01)
  • Experts to begin evaluating rescued cats (6/13/01)
  • Fugitive cat lady caught at S.F. hotel (11/03)
  • Cat lady ... incompetent to stand trial (5/04)
  • Cat Lady's home remodeled, on market (6/04)
  • 'Cat house' remains for sale (2/05)

All text and photographs © 2001 San Francisco Chronicle, Santa Rosa Press Democrat or Associated Press. No infringement intended.

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"All of a sudden there were more and more cats," said Marilyn Barletta, who acknowledged moving dozens of cats from a rented house in Bel Marin Keys to the Petaluma address after she ran into legal trouble with her Marin landlord. "It was a population explosion."

"I know this sounds bizarre," said Barletta, a 61-year-old retired real estate agent, in an interview outside her Russian Hill apartment in San Francisco. "But I'm a rational person."