Neighbors gripped with fear after woman's bobcat escapes

ARNOLD, Missouri -- One woman is missing a beloved pet.

Her neighbors meanwhile are holding theirs a little closer.

A few weeks ago, a woman posted a lost pet ad on Craigslist for her bobcat Artemis, who escaped from her home a few weeks ago.

"I miss my girl terribly," the owner wrote to KMOV-TV. "If anyone spots her, please call or text me. If she is seen, it will be easy to tell she is not a local, wild bobcat."

The 35-pound bobcat was bred in Montana, and has been an indoor pet since coming to live with the woman at her Arnold home six years ago.

A neighbor who heard about the missing bobcat is now keeping a watchful eye on her dog, who she won't let go out alone.

"I'm afraid for the dog because I let her out by herself, a lot of people do down here," neighbor Charleen said.

It isn't technically legal for Artemis to have been living with the woman.

"We do have under certain provisions, you can hold a bobcat and other types of wildlife," said Dan Zarlenga, with the Missouri Department of Conservation.

According to Missouri's wildlife code, the owner should have a permit for the bobcat, and the animal isn't supposed to be able to roam freely in a residence.

Officials are now investigating the circumstances of Artemis' care, and whether the owner had a valid permit.

The owner said Artemis is declawed.

"She is not a danger to people or pets, but she is very skittish," the owner wrote. "She has been raised around cats and dogs. But if she is cornered by an aggressive dog or person, she may try to bite."

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