-- A California woman went the distance -- 1,600 miles to be exact -- to find her missing cat and get her home safely, thanks in part to a private detective.
Riley McDermid’s 3-year-old rescue cat Sheba went missing from Vallejo in September when her deceased neighbor’s family was in town to clean out their father’s house. When the family left to go back home to Omaha in their rented U-Haul van, Sheba didn't show up for her daily 6:30 p.m. dinner and was nowhere to be found, McDermid told ABC News today.
McDermid searched up and down alleys, posted Sheba's picture and information online and made the rounds to local shelters but couldn't find her black, furry family member, she said.
"It was at that point that I started thinking her disappearance had something to do with that U-Haul, since they happened on the same day," McDermid said. She managed to get contact information for her neighbor's children, one being his daughter Brittany Hulett, and texted, called and Facebook messaged them but never received a response, she said.
McDermid decided to turn to other resources to find her cat: a private investigator. No, it wasn't Ace Ventura, but a real-life private eye by the name of Mona Kay, owner of Mona K Investigations in Omaha, who has done pet investigations before. As an animal lover, said told McDermid that she was happy to help find Sheba.
Kay said she found Hulett at her home and asked her about Sheba, adding that Hulett got "really defensive."
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."
After showing Hulett a picture of Sheba and telling her the cat has a microchip that can prove it's McDermid's, Kay said Hulett gave back the cat.
“Sheba had the same collar on and she fit the description so she turned Sheba over to me,” Kay added.
Sheba stayed with Kay for two days while McDermid booked a flight for Sheba to go home.
"She is now totally settled in, back to catching mice and comes in at 6:30 p.m. every night on the dot,” McDermid said.