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Cat Survives 19-Story Plunge From Boston High Rise 

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  #1  
Old 03-26-2012, 02:53 AM
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Cat Survives 19-Story Plunge From Boston High Rise

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BOSTON (AP) - A veterinarian says acting like a flying squirrel may have saved a cat from serious injury in a 19-story plunge from a Boston high rise.

Sugar the cat had no broken bones or cuts, just some bruising on her lungs after the fall from a window owner Brittany Kirk had opened to enjoy the recent unseasonably warm weather.

The Animal Rescue League estimates Sugar fell between 150 and 200 feet.

Kirk tells WBZ-TV she thinks Sugar used up "one or two or maybe eight" of her nine lives.

Veterinarian Hugh Davis says in falls from high places, cats splay their legs in a "flying squirrel position" which slows their descent.

Kirk calls Sugar's survival a "miracle" and says building management has since installed a screen in her window.
Quote:
BOSTON (CBS) – Rescuers are calling her a miracle cat. Her name is Sugar, a white ball of fluff that survived a fall from her owner’s window on the 19th floor of a Storrow Drive high rise.

“I look out my window all the time and I think, ‘Wow, this is really high,’” says Sugar’s owner, Brittany Kirk. She believes in the old saying about nine lives. “I think she probably used one or two or maybe eight.”

When workers with the Animal Rescue League examined the cat, they found it had minor bruising on the lungs, but no broken bones, no cuts, and no serious injuries. They estimate she fell between 150 and 200 feet. “Pretty open access to Storrow drive as well, as if the cat needed any more peril on this day,” said rescue manager Brian O’Connor.

Surprisingly, rescuers say studies show cats have a better chance of surviving falls when they’re from higher than nine stories. “The cats were able to relax, orient themselves in a flying squirrel position with the legs spread out. It slowed their descent down.”


Sugar survived a 19-story fall.

The Animal Rescue League is reminding pet owners to make sure they have screens on windows. After this happened, Sugar’s owner called the managers of her high rise to have one installed.

“I’m just so thankful. When I came home from work today and I saw her, I was just very thankful. It’s a miracle,” says Kirk.
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Sugar the cat

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Her owner's home in Boston

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The spot where she landed



http://boston.cbslocal.com/video?aut...clipId=6864879
http://boston.cbslocal.com/2012/03/2...ment-building/
http://www.wboc.com/story/17227777/c...ston-high-rise
http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/20...and-walks-away

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Old 03-26-2012, 03:10 AM
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Re: Cat Survives 19-Story Plunge From Boston High Rise

This is not at all uncommon. In fact, cats are more likely to be hurt, when they fall down two or three storeys, because they're not able to turn around and land on their feet then.

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Old 03-26-2012, 03:49 AM
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Re: Cat Survives 19-Story Plunge From Boston High Rise

Wtf, I could of swore that much impact would of broken all of the cats legs.

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Old 03-26-2012, 03:54 AM
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Re: Cat Survives 19-Story Plunge From Boston High Rise

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Originally Posted by Feirefiz View Post
This is not at all uncommon. In fact, cats are more likely to be hurt, when they fall down two or three storeys, because they're not able to turn around and land on their feet then.
True, thanks for your post. I knew they can survive falls, but it's amazing that not only they know how to fall, but also can decide where: the soft spot where she landed was extremely small compared to the surrounding areas made of concrete: i've found an article i was looking for before, which confirms what you say and adds some detail. The parachute effect, coupled with the ability to land with all four legs (hence distributing the force of the impact through the muscles and joints) plus its low specific gravity makes of him the best natural-born paratrooper ever.

How Cats Survive Falls
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Perhaps more intriguing than purring is the cat's ability to survive falls. The research of veterinarians Wayne Whitney and Cheryl Mehlhaff at the Animal Medical Center in New York City shed light on this ability in 1987. The cat's habit of falling out of open windows provided the researchers with an opportunity to study 115 cats that had fallen from high-rise apartments in New York City. The average fall was 5.5 stories. Of the 115 cats studied, 90 per cent survived, including one cat that fell 32 stories onto a sidewalk and suffered only a mild chest injury and a chipped tooth. Interestingly, cats that fell from 9 or more stories suffered fewer injuries than those falling from lower heights. Among cats that fell from 9 to 32 stories, only 5 per cent suffered fatal injuries, but 10 per cent of those that fell from 7 or fewer stories died.

How do cats manage to take falling so easily? For one thing, in comparison to human beings, a cat is much smaller and lighter. Also, a cat has more body surface area in proportion to its weight than a human being has. This increase in surface area results in greater air resistance, which slows the fall. The important thing, however, is that a falling cat apparently positions itself to form a sort of parachute. Less than one second after it starts to fall, a cat quickly rights itself in midair with all four legs pointing downward. The cat's inner ears act like an internal gyroscope, telling the cat which direction it is falling. With the legs pointed downward, the cat then spreads its legs so that its body forms a sort of parachute that increases air resistance. With its limbs flexed, the cat also cushions the force of impact by landing on all four legs. The force of the impact is distributed through the muscles and joints.

Whitney and Mehlhaff believe that the parachute effect comes into play mainly above four stories, at the point where the cat has reached its greatest rate of descent. Of the 115 cats the researchers studied, only 1 of 13 cats that fell nine or more stories sustained a bone fracture, whereas most of the cats that fell from lower stories suffered some type of broken bone.
http://animals.howstuffworks.com/pet...-cat-info5.htm

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Old 03-26-2012, 04:04 AM
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Re: Cat Survives 19-Story Plunge From Boston High Rise

I have to look at the owner and think "why the fuck would you have a window open with no screen and own a cat?"

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Old 03-26-2012, 04:16 AM
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Re: Cat Survives 19-Story Plunge From Boston High Rise

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Originally Posted by gatagato View Post
True, thanks for your post. I knew they can survive falls, but it's amazing that not only they know how to fall, but also can decide where: the soft spot where she landed was extremely small compared to the surrounding areas made of concrete: i've found an article i was looking for before, which confirms what you say and adds some detail. The parachute effect, coupled with the ability to land with all four legs (hence distributing the force of the impact through the muscles and joints) plus its low specific gravity makes of him the best natural-born paratrooper ever.

How Cats Survive Falls

http://animals.howstuffworks.com/pet...-cat-info5.htm
Awesome!
One of my cats he once fell from our balcony in the first storey. He could neither fully turn around nor use his "parachute-ability". He suffered a very complicated fracture to the leg (since he actually landed on his feet but not in "safety-position").
Poor cat!

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Old 03-26-2012, 04:44 AM
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Re: Cat Survives 19-Story Plunge From Boston High Rise

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Originally Posted by Feirefiz View Post
Awesome!
One of my cats he once fell from our balcony in the first storey. He could neither fully turn around nor use his "parachute-ability". He suffered a very complicated fracture to the leg (since he actually landed on his feet but not in "safety-position").
Poor cat!
How sad I hope he still can walk. Mine had both his rear legs broken when he was as tiny as my hand: he fell from a writing desk where he climbed while i was asleep!
This video was taken about a week before the fall.
<object width="420" height="315"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/j93FijagseY?version=3&amp;hl=it_IT&amp;rel=0"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/j93FijagseY?version=3&amp;hl=it_IT&amp;rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="420" height="315" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>

The vet told me that he had almost no chances to fully recover due to the type of fractures, but after a month he started walking again:
this is him, about one year ago
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now he runs, jumps, plays and all the rest, but he obviously suffers fear of heights.

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Old 03-26-2012, 07:31 AM
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Re: Cat Survives 19-Story Plunge From Boston High Rise

I too heard how cats are better able to survive high falls rather than low one's for all the reason listed. Great post. Very happy ending to what could have been awful.

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Old 03-26-2012, 08:48 AM
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Re: Cat Survives 19-Story Plunge From Boston High Rise

I'd love to see footage of a cat acting like a flying squirrel!

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Old 03-26-2012, 09:03 AM
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Lucky Pussy :P

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