Boston cat unscathed after fall from 19-story building
March 23, 2012|By Alli Knothe
A four-year-old cat, Sugar, survived a fall from the 19th floor of an apartment building in Boston's West End. (Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff)
A Boston cat made a “purrfect” landing -- on her feet, of course -- emerging mostly unscathed after falling 19 stories from her owner’s high-rise apartment.
A woman on the second floor of the building at 10 Emerson Place in the West End saw something fall past her window Wednesday afternoon and ran to see what it was, said Brian O’Connor, rescue services manager for the Animal Rescue League of Boston.
Looking down, the woman saw a white cat directly below. The cat, named Sugar, had landed on a soft patch of grass and mulch and appeared to be fine.
The woman called the lobby, and several people went to usher Sugar inside. They also contacted the Rescue League. They first thought it had fallen from a 6th-story window that was open above where the cat landed.
A closer look revealed that Sugar had suffered some bruising on her lungs, but other than that she was unharmed.
Using a microchip embedded in the animal, the ARL was able to contact her owner, who was at work.
“When she told us she lived on the 19th floor, we were pretty blown away,” said O’Connor.
Sugar landed on the soft patch, which was surrounded by concrete and not far from traffic-heavy Storrow Drive.
“It literally landed in the best spot it could have,” he said.
O’Connor said that because Sugar fell from such a high altitude, she was able to adjust and fall correctly, landing right on her feet and avoiding serious injury. He said the fact she landed on the soft patch was probably just chance. http://articles.boston.com/2012-03-2...atch-white-cat
Mike Brammer, assistant manager of the animal rescue services department at the Animal Rescue League of Boston, the organization that took Sugar in after the fall, told MSNBC that the fact that Sugar landed in a tiny patch of mulch, which was surrounded by brick and concrete, was no coincidence. Brammer guessed that in addition to a little bit of luck, Sugar was able to aim her fall by becoming akin to a "flying squirrel." "You notice where their legs attach to the body, they have the extra fur right there," he told MSNBC. This helps because during a fall, "they're able to glide a little bit and control where they are going." The height of Sugar's dive might have worked in her favor. According to a 1987 study on the so-called High-Rise Syndrome, published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, cats who fell from higher floors fared much better because they can spread themselves out like a parachute and slow the impact. As for Sugar, after being treated for a minor scratch and some bruising on her lungs, she was reunited with her owner, Brittney Kirk, who was at work during her cat's wild adventure. While she's definitely is no worse for the wear, it's likely that Sugar is now one life down, with eight to go. http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/03/22/...ying-squirrel/
Sugar had no broken bones or cuts from the plunge, just bruising, after she fell an estimated 45-60m (150-200ft). She was taken to vets at the Animal Rescue League, who say that when cats fall from such a height, they act like a flying squirrel - spreading their legs apart like wings. This action may have saved Sugar from getting any serious injuries. The owner was amazed that her cat survived and since the fall, a screen has been installed on the window that Sugar fell from. http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/17480517
The Boston CBS affiliate WBZ-TV covered the story. Sugar's owner has thought about the potential for something like this to happen. She told media, "I look out my window all the time and I think, "Wow, this is really high,'" says Brittany Kirk. It didn't keep her from cracking the window open on another unusually warm March day in Boston. After Animal Rescue League of Boston officials appeared on the scene, they found the lucky feline sustained minor bruising on the lungs, but no broken bones, no cuts, and no serious injuries. Bruce Conner a rescue manager told WBZ that another part of the miracle was the building's proximity to a Boston highway, saying it is "Pretty open access to Storrow Drive as well, as if the cat needed any more peril on this day." http://www.huliq.com/10061/boston-ca...sugar-survived
Don't panic, everyone. Sugar is OK. Just some bruising of her lungs, according to the Animal Rescue League of Boston. It helped, according to the Globe, that Sugar landed "on a soft patch of grass and mulch." It's called "high rise syndrome." "Apparently," 20/20 reported, "cats that fall farther are able to spread their bodies like feline parachutes to slow themselves down." Then they land, of course, on their feet. Sugar, by the way, was reunited with her owner thanks to a microchip embedded under her skin. http://www.kplu.org/post/cat-falls-1...nds-purrfectly
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