News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Bank kitty is back at ‘home’

Penny is back!

The US Bank kitty is now home greeting customers once again after being treated for not making a “daily deposit.” 

“I noticed Penny was not feeling her happy welcoming self then stopped eating,” said Michelle Sims, bank manager. “I was able to get her into Stayton Veterinary Hospital where she ended up staying three nights due to extreme constipation. Then she spent five nights at my house to make sure she was doing better.”

According to Sims, a Facebook post alerted bank customers that Penny was sick. Sims followed up with a flyer to let customers know and the response quickly grew.

“People were worried when they didn’t see her,” Sims said. “She was missed by everyone!”

Sims’s observation was echoed by Ken Cartwright, who manages the local radio station KYAC. 

“Penny was missed by almost everyone for a couple of weeks,” he said. “People asked what’s going on.” 

Penny showed up to US Bank about two and a half years ago, replacing an existing cat named Cash that lived in the neighborhood, Sims said. 

“It was apparent that Penny was a stray and needed some love, so we welcomed her into the branch,” she said. “Penny was very overweight and missing hair. We started her on flea meds and a healthy diet. 

“Penny instantly became a permanent fixture at the bank,” she added. “She immediately started to greet customers and walk them to the door. She was great with kids. Penny quickly became the full-time bank cat.”

Sims thought she might have to start a GoFundMe to cover the cat’s $2,006.88 vet bill, but people in the Mill City community rallied to pay off the expense. 

“Customers started asking if they could help pay her vet bill,” she said. “The community came together and pitched in to help cover her bill entirely and enough money to buy her special food and medicine. We had no need to do a GoFundMe.”

Sims said Penny is genuinely loved by the community and passers-by.”

“She has been back to work for a few weeks now and feeling so much better,” she said. “It was heartwarming to see the love from everyone for Penny. 

Robyn Starkey posted on Facebook, “I just love Penny.” 

Lori Bartow thanked people for helping Penny get well, saying “I love how people come together when an animal is in need.”

Sims is not surprised at the outpouring of love for Penny.

“She really is an incredible cat,” she said.

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