Wildcat spotted but eludes capture

"Photo: Cujo, an African serval, is still missing in the Bayview area south of Highway 525.Several neighbors have spotted her spotted wild cat, but as of Tuesday Tiffany Cartier's African serval had not returned home.The 30-pound cat, named Cujo, escaped from Cartier's Sunlight Shores home on Friday, June 30. The last reported sighting was late Sunday night, July 9. Area resident Jeanie Cortez said her son, Damien, was driving in the area of Ewing Road and the cat was walking in the middle of the road. It was about 12:30 a.m.Cortez said her son stopped his vehicle and switched its lights to bright, which froze the cat. He got out of the vehicle and talked to the cat but it wasn't in a friendly mood. It hissed and he decided to back off, Cortez said Monday morning. They reported the sighting to the Sheriff's Office.Cartier said Monday that she has spent a lot of time in recent days responding to sightings of her exotic cat. I saw him last night, but he's very skittish, she said. I had my hands on him but he was so scared he just kind of ran.Cartier said Cujo, who is declawed, wouldn't try to hurt anyone unless he felt cornered. She added that the cat looked healthy despite having been on his own for almost two weeks. He's obviously eating something . . . maybe mice, she said.Another area resident who identified herself only as Loretta said Friday that her husband had seen the serval twice earlier in the week. On one occasion it was sunning itself. He thought he was seeing things, Loretta said, describing her husband's reaction. He walked up, it looked at him and took off.The next day he saw the cat again and got withing a dozen feet of it before it ran away. Loretta said these sightings were only about a block away from where Cartier lives. The Ewing Road sighting on Sunday is just a short way down Bayview Road from Sunlight Shores.Island County Animal Control Office Carol Barnes searched the Sunlight Shores area Friday for the cat, but with no success. We've had several sightings of the cat, she said, adding that Cartier has gone house-to-house, searching for her cat.Barnes said anyone who sees the cat should call 321-5111 during work hours and leave a message with Animal Control. It is described as cream colored with black spots and stripes down its back."

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