McDermid eventually turned to her neighbors for help. That's when she learned that, around this same time, the adult children of a man who lived nearby had been in town to gather his things after he passed away. They'd been seen loading, among other possessions, a pet carrier into their rental van, before driving back halfway across the country to their home in Nebraska.
On the off chance that they had seen Sheba, McDermid decided to track down their contact info. She called and left messages, but, oddly enough, never heard back from them.
Was it possible that they had her cat? Nudged by that suspicion, McDermid reached out to private investigator-turned-pet-detective Mona Kay in Omaha.
"She called and asked if I would be interested in trying to locate her cat. I handle lots of types of cases, so I thought I'd give it a try," Kay told The Dodo. "I've spent months trying to find people before, but we weren't even sure the cat was in town. We didn't really know if the cat was alive, or where it could be. All we had was a name."
With that, Kay gathered a list of possible addresses of people with that name in town to pay them a visit. And sure enough, the mystery surrounding Sheba's disappearance began to unravel.