"The first address I went to, a young female opened the door. I introduced myself, saying I was a private investigator and had been retained by a family in California to locate their cat. You should have seen the look on her face," said Kay. "I then pulled out a picture and said, 'Have you seen this cat? There was a long hesitation. I knew right away that I had her."
It took some firm questioning on the intrepid detective's part, but she eventually admitted to having taken Sheba from near her deceased father's home weeks earlier.
"Based on her reaction, I have the impression they took the cat knowingly," Kay said. "I don't know why they would do that."
Fortunately, the purloined cat was still safe and sound when the woman handed her over to Kay, who hurried home to call McDermid with the good news.
"She just started crying. She was just so happy and surprised," Kay said. "I thought it would take a week or more to find her, and maybe require using surveillance. I was surprised, too, to find her so quickly."