A French town’s official feline mascot fled before he could take up his post but was eventually found

Titi is a Maine Coon cat who holds the highly esteemed position of “mascot for Decize’s social networks.” The tomcat, however, vanished the day following his election in March 2022.

Two weeks later, he was discovered safe and sound in a neighboring house. Phew!

Decize is a small town in central France’s Nievre area. The town was looking for a mascot for the opening of its Instagram account.

The authorities came up with the idea of holding a major contest for locals to choose which pet would be able to represent the city on social media for a year.

The contest required participants to submit a photo of their pet in one of six categories: playful, hilarious, sleeping, gluttonous, irresistible, and cuddly.

Titi becomes the local mascot

Following a first selection by the Municipal Youth Council and many rounds of voting on Instagram, the final six competitors for the title were selected.

Ultimately, Titi, the gorgeous Maine Coon cat who was enrolled in the “irresistible” category was named the city of Decize’s official mascot for the year 2022.

According to the Journal du Centre, the feline significantly outperformed its direct competition, a dog and a ginger cat. As the winner, the kitten took part in a professional photoshoot.

Titi quickly became a local celebrity, as Mallaury Calaca Melim, the City’s PR executive, explains:

“One of Titi’s creative shots will be framed and displayed at the town hall. Decize hopes to demonstrate that it is an animal-friendly city “

The new mascot goes missing

The next day Titi, the freshly elected mascot didn’t return home, creating worry for his safety. Aurélie Perceau, his owner, alerted her neighbors and the town council. She pointed out:

“Titi is chipped, not tattooed, and neutered. He doesn’t wear a collar and is very bashful when he doesn’t know what to do.”

After his disappearance on March 29th, the cat’s owners and neighbors searched the cat’s favorite spot; an area downtown, and volunteers put up posters, with no success.

The other residents and municipal officials were also concerned about the runaway. Furthermore, the municipality of Decize initiated a mobilization campaign to retrieve Titi, the town’s mascot.

Titi’s reappearance

Titi was discovered safe and sound after several days of searching. Aurélie Perceau, wrote on her Facebook page on April 10th:

“A lady called me to say there was a cat in her garage. We went there right away and it was our Titi,”

Aurélie Perceau and her family were overcome with excitement when they were reunited with their beloved cat, and the owner thanked all the commune’s residents for their efforts:

“We want to thank everyone who assisted us in our hunt by putting up posters and spreading the word about Titi’s absence.”

Titi the mascot is back and everybody can breathe a sigh of relief.  

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