By Nammi Bhagvandoss

nbhagvandoss@joplinglobe.com

Percy Katz, the mascot fixture at the Joplin Museum Complex, is missing, and the museum staff is seeking the public's help in getting him back.

Percy was last seen between 5 and 6 p.m. Tuesday by a woman who was attending a reception involving the Girl Scouts at the museum. The museum staff looked "feverishly" for the cat but to no avail, said Brad Belk, the museum's executive director.

The museum staff notified local media on Wednesday, and put out fliers at veterinarians' offices and pet stores, Belk said.

Percy apparently was discarded near the museum in January 2000, and Belk took him in ahead of a forecast snowstorm. Percy has been the complex's resident mascot ever since.

His birthday is celebrated on Jan. 15 each year. The presents he receives each year on his birthday are donated to the Joplin Humane Society.

Percy rarely goes outside without a human escort, Belk said. "He's only been around the building once in seven years," he said. "We have to go outside with him or he won't go out."

Belk said he thinks someone who is unfamiliar with Percy probably took him.

"Somebody was probably in the (Schifferdecker) park, and they don't know he lives in the museum," Belk said.

"He goes out for 20 minutes or less to stretch his legs, and then he comes in promptly.

"We're hoping that by (today), after the community has time to adjust, we'll find him and he'll be back with us where he's supposed to be."

Description

Percy is a gray and white cat, with white on his chest, underbelly and four paws. He recently had surgery for the removal of cancer cells, and he has a shaved spot and scar on his left hindquarters. The museum's phone number is 623-1180.