RICHLAND, Miss. (WJTV) – A Richland family said their serval, a cat native to Africa, went missing in September 2021. However, the animal has been spotted several times by people across the metro area.
Shanna Smith, who owns the serval, said she wants her pet back home safe.
“It appears that she opened the back door and walked on out,” Smith explained.
It’s been nearly three months since the family laid eyes on their serval, Arya. Smith said she fed the cat some chicken before going to help her son with is homework.
“And that probably lasted about 40-45 minutes, and my husband came home. And he was like, ‘Why is the door wide open?’ And I was like, ‘What do you mean?’ I’m just shocked cause I’m like, ‘What do you mean the door’s wide open?'”
Smith said she doesn’t remember leaving the door open. She also has Bengal cats living in the house. After Arya’s disappearance, Smith has been searching for the animal. She took to social media to find out if anyone has seen the serval.
“She’s on this little adventure where she’s traveling around, and I don’t know where she’s going to be next. And if I don’t know where to look for her, then I need to reach out and meet people where she’s at.”
So far, Arya has been spotted in Richland, Florence, Byram, Jackson and Clinton.
“If you run across her, just be sweet to her. You know, don’t hurt her. There have been some comments, and I don’t know if they were joking or what, but they said something about her being a good trophy or whatever. She’s not a trophy. She’s a family member. It would tear me up, but it would really, really mess with my kids. So if you see her, don’t hurt her.”
Smith is offering a $500 reward for anyone who can bring Arya home safely. If you see the serval, Smith said to send her a message on Facebook.