Two women are currently battling it out in a California courtroom, fighting for custody of a black and white cat named Whiley. Or, um, named David, depending on which of them is talking about him.
Tiffany Mestas, 35, says the cat, whom she calls David, disappeared from her Fairfield, California, home seven years ago and that she never stopped looking for him, making televised pleas for his return and even volunteering at shelters in the hopes that he might be one of the cats looking for a home, The Press Democrat reports.
But David/Whiley had been adopted in 2010 by Therese Weczorek, who got the cat from what turned out to be an unlicensed animal rescue center, according to the Sonoma County newspaper. The cat did have an ID chip and, last year, Mestas said she was alerted by the microchip company that someone had attempted to try to change the chip’s identification number.
And here’s where the story takes a turn toward Lifetime movie territory: Mestas reportedly somehow used an unidentified police source to find out the new owner’s name and, after learning that Weczorek, a retired nurse, had moved, she hired a private investigator to track her down. She has also gone to Weczorek’s home and, unsurprisingly, was asked to leave — without the cat.
“I’m not a confrontational person,” Mestas told The Press Democrat. “I don’t hate her. I just want my cat back.”
The judge has yet to set a trial date.