Bay Area woman hires private eye to track down her missing cat in Nebraska

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Riley McDermid of Vallejo, Ca., is very clear she isn't super into cats. "I've never been super into cats," McDermid told ABC San Francisco.


Got it.

"I'm not really a cat person," McDermid told the San Jose Mercury-News. "I'm not a big cat lady, I don't like cat memes."


OK! I heard you!

Nevertheless, McDermid owns a cat (hmmm), and her name is Sheba, and she's three-years-old. Last month, Sheba didn't show up for her regularly scheduled 6:30 p.m. dinner, and McDermid became concerned. Not because she likes cats or anything ("I'm not really a cat person"), but because her two-year-old daughter liked Sheba so much, and they played so well together, she felt an obligation to track the missing cat down.

McDermid told the Mercury-News she suspected the cat may have made its away to Omaha, Neb. How did she figure? Turns out McDermid's neighbor had recently passed away and the neighbor's "adult children" were in the process of moving all of his stuff over to Nebraska. While in the process of moving, McDermid's other neighbor noticed the "adult children" leaving town with a cat carrier.

Interesting, McDermid thought to herself. Did the adult children accidentally (or maybe on purpose? stay tuned)…steal Sheba?


She didn't hear back from the adult children, and so she resorted to the next logical step: hire a pet detective! Mona Kay was hired to look for Sheba at the house of Brittany Hulett in Omaha, one of the adult children.

Lo and behold, there was Sheba, hanging out at Hulett's house. Apparently, it was all just a case of mistaken identity. From ABC News:

Hulett told ABC News today that while cleaning out her dad's house, she accidentally let his cats out and when she saw one that looked like her father's black cat, she thought it was his and took it back to Omaha with her.

"It wasn’t until the private investigator came knocking on the door that I was convinced that it wasn't my cat," Hulett said. "I didn't fight it."


"They brought the cat out to me," Kay told the Mercury-News. "It was much easier than I ever anticipated, which is shocking. I locate people all the time, some take weeks or months and then finding a cat (from) across the country takes three minutes."

It was much easier than I ever anticipated


Simply incredible.

Aww, adorable, cute story over, right? Cat returns home? No funny business? Hmm, maybe. Or maybe there was funny business. Buried in the Mercury-News story is the following passage:

McDermid disputes Hulett's account of the situation as a "mix-up," and said the siblings ignored two weeks of messages offering a reward and money to ship the cat back. McDermid had also filed a police report at the time the cat went missing.


And here's this, from ABC News:

Kay said she found Hulett at her home and asked her about Sheba, adding that Hulett got "really defensive."



Michael Rosen is a reporter for Fusion based out of Oakland.

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