Over the last eight years, Terry Burby became especially fond of a blind cat named Freddie. She said the 14-pound stray adopted her and everyone else at a Spring Lake shopping center.
"I still look for him under the car just about every day," she said.
Weeks ago, Burby came to work and Freddie was not waiting at the door. People who work closeby said over the weekend, they heard a shot and came running.
Authorities say a Spring Lake police officer shot the cat. The officer was not available to talk with WRAL about why he shot the cat, but workers said he told them it was acting strangely so he thought it had rabies.
"It really made me angry because Freddie was shot. I saw no need for it," business owner Calvin Brown said.
Spring Lake Police Chief Jeff Insley said some shootings of animals are justified. He is now trying to find out if the rookie officer did the right thing in this case.
Some of the workers asked police for the cat's remains so they could bury him, but Insley said he does not know what happened to the cat. Cumberland County Animal Control workers said the animal was never turned over to them for rabies testing or proper disposal.