Caper of catnapped ‘Capitol Cat’ solved after he was discovered at humane society

By: - August 31, 2022 11:15 am
Cameron the Cat

Cameron the Cat, a fixture at the Nebraska State Capitol, was reported stolen on Tuesday night. (Aaron Sanderford/Nebraska Examiner)

LINCOLN — The “Caper of the Catnapped Capitol Cat” has been solved.

A few hours after “Cameron the Capitol Cat,” a feline fixture at the Nebraska State Capitol, was reported missing Wednesday morning, he was found to have been turned in at the Capital Humane Society in Lincoln.

Matt Madcharo, executive director of the humane society, said that Cameron had been left in an overnight drop-off kennel at the society’s Admission and Assessments Center in southwest Lincoln sometime late Tuesday or early Wednesday. Whoever dropped him off did not fill out a form to indicate where the animal had been found, he said.

“Most likely, someone thought it was a loose cat and left it here,” Madchero said. More than 1,000 stray cats so far this year have been left at the Lincoln shelter.

But Cameron has an owner and is quite a celebrity at the State Capitol.

He has his own Facebook page, Twitter account and fan club, and regularly comments about daily events.

He was reportedly taken away in a carrier Tuesday night by two women in their 20s who had picked him up from his normal perch, near the south entrance to the State Capitol.

Cat greets workers

Cameron regularly perches at the south entrance, greeting Capitol workers as they arrive in the morning and leave at night. He’s a friendly cat, who is often rewarded with treats. 

Cameron the Capitol Cat
Cameron the Capitol Cat (Social media photo)

A post Wednesday on Cameron’s Facebook page said he is microchipped and has a guardian who adopted him from the Capital Humane Society about seven years ago, when he was about four months old.

“Cameron has enjoyed spending a lot of time at the Capitol meeting and greeting his friends and fans,” the post stated.

A spokesman with the Nebraska State Patrol confirmed Wednesday that Capitol Security had been contacted this morning by Cameron’s owner, who confirmed that the cat was missing.

Lincoln police investigated

Cameron might be in a bit of trouble.

Madcharo said that city ordinance do not allow cats to roam free unless they’re wearing a collar and their license, are spayed or neutered and are up to date on vaccinations. Cameron is not wearing a collar in pictures on his Facebook page.

Any sanctions against Cameron or his owner would be up to Lincoln’s animal control office, he said.


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Paul Hammel
Paul Hammel

Senior Reporter Paul Hammel has covered the Nebraska state government and the state for decades. Previously with the Omaha World-Herald, Lincoln Journal Star and Omaha Sun, he is a member of the Omaha Press Club's Hall of Fame. He grows hops, brews homemade beer, plays bass guitar and basically loves traveling and writing about the state. A native of Ralston, Nebraska, he is vice president of the John G. Neihardt Foundation.