WARREN, NJ – Using tips and tricks from the community and her ring camera, Warren’s Brionna Paltan and mother Missy Oliver were able to lure their missing kitten home. Now Paltan hopes to help others keep hope and find their missing pets.
Paltan and her mother have two cats, Penny and Pia. Penny was a wild kitten they had rescued from the St. Hubert animal welfare center when they were three months old. They only had Penny five months when she escaped.
It was Wednesday, April 7th when Pia used her claw to open a rear screen door to bask in the sun. However, Pia’s efforts left Penny with an opportunity to flee.
“Penny just got kicked out,” said Paltan. “We did everything to get her back.”
Paltan immediately joined several social media Facebook groups to share photos of Penny, posted flyers around town, and even set up a ring security camera in the backyard.
Several community members shared helpful tips to get Penny home. Most suggestions were about scents, which included leaving Pennies or Pia’s litter boxes outside, leaving stinky food like sardines or heated wet cat food outside, leaving Paltans or their mother’s clothes outside, and even setting up a Havahart trap.
Over time, the family was heartbroken, including Pia.
“It was horrible. I work remotely so it was horrible to see Pia. She went into closets, her temper was very scared and she just ran around the house looking for her,” Paltan said. “She cried a little and was nervous.”
The ring camera was especially helpful as Paltan could follow Penny’s movements. Paltan called it her “penny tracker” and could see she returned home a total of about 12 times in three months. However, every time Penny came by it was between 1am and 3am and she was able to escape.
“I thought I wasn’t going to give up, I’ll never lose my faith and just have to try anything because the ring camera helped track its pattern,” said Paltan.
Eventually, Penny was lured into the trap that was covered with the family’s clothing and had food in it. Penny came home on Wednesday, July 7th – 3 months to the day she was missing.
Oliver first found Penny trapped around 5 a.m. and called Paltan.
“I immediately tore off my covers and ran downstairs,” said Paltan. “She wanted to eat first and cried in despair. We were so hysterical and just tried to stay calm so she didn’t get upset. But within a week she got used to her roots again.”
Oliver took Penny to the vet who came back with clean health other than being a little leaner.
“I could feel her ribs, but other than that, she really didn’t look like she was outside,” Paltan said. “I wish you could talk so I could ask her where she was hiding, what she was doing all along.”
One positive note on this adventure is that Penny is no longer shy. When Paltan and her mother adopted her, Penny found it difficult to accept love. Now she is happy to be loved and caressed.
Paltan’s message to others – “Never give up hope.”
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