Man Shocked When Shelter Calls After His Cat, Neeka–That His Girlfriend WAS Caring For–Is Picked Up As Stray!

Life comes with its ups-and-downs and curve balls. We change jobs, residences and even spouses sometimes.


We lose, we grow, we learn and we heal. But’s up to us to take care our ourselves and our loved ones. And that includes our beloved pets. For Scot Freier, he believed his girlfriend was helping care for his favorite furry family member while he was away. That is until he received a call from a shelter informing him his sweet cat Neeka had been brought in as a stray.

But Neeka had been left in his girlfriend’s care for the past 10 weeks! Or so he thought.

Scot and Neeka’s story begins about 3-years-ago, when she was just a young kitten. He’d adopted her from the Humane Society of Missouri.

He had served in the U.S. Air Force from 1991-1998, and was living in Texas after he was honorably discharged. Then life threw a wrench in his plans and he divorced, moving back to the Midwest to begin again. Once he planted his feet firmly on the Illinois/Missouri border, the veteran opened his door–and his heart–to the small feline.

Freier told The Telegraph, why he made the decision to adopt the gorgeous house panther.

“I just moved to St. Louis from Texas and didn’t want to be all alone,” he said. “I was living in an apartment and didn’t want a dog and I’ve always liked cats. They are much easier to maintain.”


Time went on and eventually Scot, his girlfriend and Neeka built a happy home for themselves. 

And then “life” happened again. Scot had made the choice to move to the Melbourne/Cocoa Beach area of Florida. But that may not have meant the entire family–2 legged AND 4 legged–were going with. Because Neeka was left in his girlfriend’s care while Scot got settled in Florida. Notice how he doesn’t say “come back to get THEM”?

“My girlfriend agreed to take care of Neeka until I found work and got settled in, to come back and get her. I had only been gone about 10 weeks.”

But then he received a call from the Madison County Animal Care and Control Manager Katherine Conder. Neeka had been brought into animal care on October 4th, found as a stray. That could have been much worse itself for a black cat in October.

Luckily, Neeka was microchipped since his “girlfriend” hadn’t even told him she was missing!!! So much for a smooth breakup or long distance relationship effort. Eeeeek, Fail. 
“I was surprised by the call,” Freier said. “I didn’t want to leave her behind, but I thought she was in a good spot,” he said.

The microchip is what brought Scot and Neeka back together though–well, they WILL be at the end of October.

That is the important lesson here. If Scot hadn’t had kept her microchip info up-to-date, Neeka may never have been seen again! And that happens all over the world, every sad day.

“Like we do with any animals brought into Animal Control we scanned the cat for a microchip and found out she was adopted from the Humane Society of Missouri,” Conder said.

But now there was another mission in front of them. How would Neeka get back to Scot, now that he was in Florida? Katherine posted on her Facebook page asking for transport help from their supporters. And their purrayers were answered! 

On October 30th, Neeka will start her trip back to her anxious dad in Florida. Katherine said it wouldn’t be possible without the support and assistance of another IL organization, Catty Shack. They found a loving (and unnamed) person to make the journey with a feline companion. 

*No, Bill Murray is not officially affiliated with the shelter, just awesome!

Until then, Neeka is staying with the best fosterer that Katherine can think of; her mother, Jan Conder! Clearly animal rescue and a huge heart run in the family. Thank you to everyone involved in reuniting Neeka and Scot. We hope we’ll get to see some heartwarming photos of the reunion too. Congrats!