COPPERTON, Utah (ABC4) — After days of rescue efforts, the cat that was stuck in the storm drain may have finally made it out in the early morning of Tuesday, Nov. 29.

Paw prints seen today leading out of the storm drain led officials at Rio Tinto Kennecott to believe that the cat has made it out safe. They have yet to confirm with ABC4 if the cat is Walter, but Walter’s owner said his lost cat returned home around 5 a.m. today.

Neighbor Ashley Grace said Walter is best friends with her cat, Mochi. Last Friday, Grace said Mochi led them to a storm drain, where they believed Walter was trapped 50 to 60 feet into the pipe. 

“That actually is a big concern,” she said. “If we get a big storm or if it rains, the cat could drown.”

Grace and other community members enlisted the help of Salt Lake County Animal Control Unit, the Unified Fire Department and Rio Tinto, a mining property on which the storm drain was located.

Rio Tinto rented out infrared cameras to check on the cat, saying the pipe slopes down 90 degrees, which presented a unique challenge to the rescue efforts.

“It’s very steep, and it’s in kind of a wildland area,” said Ryan Perry, manager of communities and social performance at Rio Tinto Kennecott.

The fire department helped by feeding hoses down the pipe as well as food, hoping the cat would use the hose to climb out. They also used a thermal camera to pinpoint the exact location of the cat.

When that didn’t work, the Copperton community donated carpets, cut them into strips and assembled a ladder laden with catnip.

“Cats are familiar with carpets. They can sink their claws into that thing, so it just makes more sense to lower that type of thing down,” said Ben Scholle, another neighbor.