Tango makes a run for it again, but Gig Harbor police track down ‘very sweet’ serval cat

Tango is starting to make a habit of this.

For the second time in three years, the serval cat that’s kept as a house pet escaped his Gig Harbor home, prompting a police search that ended April 17 with Tango being returned to his owners after four days on the lam.

How the cat got loose remains a mystery.

“We keep him on a very long leash when he is outside, but most of the time he was inside with us,” owner Sal’an Weyer told the Gateway. “His leash was in his heated dog bed, and I was outside drinking a cup of tea, and it was odd he wasn’t outside beside me. It took me a few minutes to realize he was gone.”

Weyer contacted police to inform them of the escape and to assure the public that Tango is friendly and to not harm him if he was spotted.

“Tango is very, very sweet,” Weyer said. “But when he gets scared or is around strangers, he tends to act like he’s king of the jungle.”

Serval cats are wild felines native to Africa, although Weyer said they are becoming popular as pets in the United States. They can grow to be around 40 pounds and live up to 20 years.

“We looked into getting a savanna (cat), and those were very hard to come by,” Weyer said. “I happened to talk to a serval breeder, and we became close friends. The more I read up on servals, I realized that is what I wanted instead of a regular house cat.

“Their personalities are very wonderful. He sleeps with me and my husband, he loves water and will play in the bath — they are just very different.”

Weyer said Tango is a gentle animal and behaves more like a dog than a cat, going on walks and playing fetch.

“He fetches a ball like a dog. Most of the time he would get the ball instead of the dogs,” said Weyer, noting Tango grew up with two dogs in the house.

Weyer said Tango escaped once before in 2016.

“Last time he went missing someone shot at him, so that was a concern,” Weyer said.

Police tweeted an APB on Tango, and sheriff’s deputies later found and surrounded the cat until Weyer was able to put the leash around him.

“The police were such a big help. Them being in such good shape, it was really awesome,” Weyer said.