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Cat Falls from 19 Stories Up and Survives

High rise building
(Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

Sugar the cat is proving that cats really do have nine lives. She recently fell from the 19th floor of a high-rise building, and she’s lived to meow about it.

Her owner, Brittney Kirk, left a window open so that Sugar wouldn’t get too hot in the apartment. Cats will be cats, however, and Sugar went exploring. It’s unclear as to why she ended up falling, but she was aided by the “flying squirrel” effect.

When she got to ground level, Sugar landed in some soft mulch, barely missing a concrete wall and a sidewalk. She then scampered over to the building, where the concierge took care of her until she was taken to the vet. She suffered a scratched lip and some bruising, including her bruising in her lungs.

The question remains: How does a cat survive a fall like that? Mike Brammer, assistant manager of the animal rescue services department explained.

“You notice where their legs attach to the body, they have … the extra fur right there,” he said. If they put their legs out, “they’re able to glide a little bit and control … where they are going, and then I guess supposedly they can use their tail and move their body as a rudder to kind of control where they want to go.”

“What happens is that the higher up, they reach terminal velocity and so I guess the sensation isn’t that they’re still falling. It kind of levels out so they don’t feel as stressed and they relax a little bit,” he said.

Sugar is one lucky cat indeed, and I’m betting her owner won’t be leaving the window open any more. Eight more falls like that and Sugar won’t be walking away…


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