Harnessing the power of social media and the kindness of strangers, one Rocklin woman found her missing $3,000 Bengal cat.
Nicole Wise and her two kids moved to Rocklin two months ago, with their dog and four Bengal cats.
"They're not supposed to be outdoor cats. They are imported cats," Wise explained.
One of them, one-year-old Percy, got out. That was a month and a half ago.
Percy turned tail, so Wise turned to her new community. She posted pictures and asked for help on the Nextdoor app. Nextdoor calls itself "the free private social network for your neighborhood community." People can post about everything from missing pets and block parties to suspicious activity and community events.
"Oh my gosh, it started coming in left and right, just a plethora of messages that helped me," she recalled.
Dozens of people, perfect strangers, offered encouragement and tips. One woman even drove around searching with Wise and her daughter.
"She is the one that said, 'I will help you,' and she went out with me," Wise said. "Didn't know me from anyone."
Many of the sightings came from a mile away, as the crow flies (or the cat slinks), near the Blue Oaks Boulevard on-ramp to 65.
"The problem was, they would call me and say, 'I saw him an hour ago,' or, 'I saw him two days ago,'" Wise explained. "But then, finally, someone called me and said, 'I see him right now. You need to go.' And I jumped in my car and I raced down there, and he was on, literally, the Blue Oaks 65 on-ramp, right there, six inches from the road."
That was on Friday, a month and a half after her cat's disappearance.
She coaxed Percy, and the cat came back!
"I'm very thankful, but it's not about the cat that was found, it's about the people that helped me find him," Wise said. "They took care, and I am very thankful for the fact that these people took enough interest."
She posted her thanks on Nextdoor, to "the amazing, kind, caring, heartfelt, loving, thoughtful, wonderful human beings that helped me find Percy," she read from her post. "My faith in humanity is greatly restored."
She was bolstered by a group of strangers - community members - whom she now considers friends.