Percy Jackson Bleakley is a cat, though it does sound like it could be a person’s name, and Percy had never been away from home more than a three day stint, that is, until this past March, which is when Percy, the two-year-old cat, went missing.
Her owner, Teresa Bleakley went right into search mode and began to her neighbors’, door-to-door, all through her neighborhood in Mendenhall Valley. She asked the obvious question, had anyone seen her Percy. She did more than that, too. She was posting on her community’s Facebook pages, and it wasn’t long before this little kitty became very well known and one of Juneau’s most recognizable pets.
During this time, searching for Percy, it became clear that there were a lot of neighborhood cats that had turned up missing, not just Percy or a couple others, but several, and people began wondering if there might be more to the story. Maybe someone was intentionally trapping cats. But there wasn’t proof, and it was frustrating for the Bleakleys.
Teresa was quoted as saying, “That was the hard part, as far as not knowing what happened to him. Was he still around? Was he being taken care of? Was he dead? What happened to him?”
Soon, time began to move forward and weeks turned into months, spring to summer and fall to winter. Unfortunately, hope had faded that he’d be found or return. It faded so much actually, that one day when she took a phone call fro the Gastineau Humane Society, her first thoughts weren’t of Percy and that they’d found him, but rather, it was along the lines that maybe their dog had gotten loose and the call was about her. But the real reason brought Theresa to tears.
The call came in on a Saturday evening, and Teresa was told that someone had stopped by the Humane Society to drop-off a kennel and in it was Percy. This was nine months after the feline’s disappearance, and now he had been found.
“It had been so long, it just never even occurred to me,” Teresa said.
Teresa and her family, her husband, Keith and 16-year-old daughter Reece, all hopped in the car to hurry over to the GHS to get their cat back, whom had just had a birthday that fall. He was now three years old.
Percy was only a kitten when had been adopted from the GHS where Reece, the daughter volunteered. She had fallen in love with him and at the time, his name was Sage, but later, she changed his name to be named after the title character of Percy, in the Percy Jackson & The Olympian novels.
Once they brought their beloved cat back home, for the next several days, the whole family would just watch Percy run through the house and dart around as if nothing had changed at all. They were all in awe, of how normal it all seemed and felt.
“It’s like he was never gone,” Reece said.
One thing that was different about the cat, however, was that he had gotten heavier, putting on some weight while he was away. It was what Teresa had noticed right off.
Andy Nelson, the Animal Control Officer, told the family that there really wasn’t much info on the rescue and his return. The person responsible for returning Percy and bringing him in, did fill out some information on a card that listed a few details, and that was that the feline had just showed up to his home in the Montana creek Road area. This is a far distance from where the Bleakley family lived, and Percy had helped himself into this man’s house by way of his doggie door. He was looking for something to eat, and he was able to obtain some, according to Nelson, the ACO, making jokes of Percy’s chubby body. He said, “He was fat and happy when found. He was going there for a while, if not a few other places.”
As far as someone trapping cats, Nelson put their minds to ease by telling them that it was all just rumors. He did explain that there had been just one case where a disagreement between two people where one stole the other’s cat. But that was an isolated incident and nothing more. Other than that, cats just roam.
In the end, the Bleakley family was just happy to have him back. And especially because the holidays were fast approaching and now it was real reason to celebrate. They still wish they knew what really happened over the past nine months, “I just don’t know. It’s weird,” Teresa said. “I wish he could talk. He’d have a story to tell.”