In an early season “high rise syndrome” accident, a Boston cat made a 19 story fall yesterday when her petmom cracked the window as temperatures soared in a record breaking heat wave. Vets say Sugar has bruised lungs but is otherwise unharmed.
Brittney Kirk left a window in her 19th floor apartment open by just a crack, but that was enough for her deaf cat Sugar to crawl through and then fall to the ground. Luckily, Sugar landed on a small grassy patch further padded with mulch. Brittney was at work when the accident occurred, but a neighbor saw Sugar’s fall and went to look for her.
Boston Animal Rescue League Rescue Service specialists came to the scene to catch Sugar and take her for care. Brian O’Connor, Manager of ARL Rescue Services, reported, “We got a call that a cat had fallen out of a building window in the West End over by MGH (Mass General Hospital). By the time we got there the building staff had corralled the cat into the lobby and she was hiding under a couch. We got the cat out, did a quick field assessment and rushed the cat back to the League where a veterinarian was on standby to do a full exam. The cat received a comprehensive physical exam along with having some x-rays taken, where some bruising on the lungs was noted. The cat received antibiotics and pain medicine. In the meantime, we were busy tracking the embedded microchip and located the owner of “Sugar.” The owner had been at work and was unaware of the entire goings on but was happy to hear the cat was in our care and doing well. This is when we found out that the cat and her owner live on the 19th floor, and we couldn’t believe that there wasn’t any further injury. The cat has since been returned to her very grateful owner and is expected to make a full recovery.”
O’Connor added, there is “Pretty open access to Storrow Drive as well, as if the cat needed any more peril on this day.” For those unfamiliar with Boston’s roadways, Storrow Drive is a very busy main artery, and a very dangerous place for an animal to be.
As we’ve heard before in reference to the too-common accident of this type, called “high rise syndrome”, studies show cats have a better chance of surviving falls when they’re from higher than nine stories. The cats can orient themselves in a flying squirrel position with their legs spread out, thus slowing their descent.