Thursday, September 29, 2011


I love WNYC’s Radiolab. But ever since I listened to the radio show called Falling, I’ve been worried about all those falling cats in New York City. Evidently there’s a plague of falling cats there. In a five month period, 132 cats were taken to a Midtown Manhattan veterinarian’s office after falling from windows. That’s roughly 1 cat a day. And that, of course, doesn’t account for the cats that died, were taken to a different vet, or never received medial attention. They call this the feline high rise syndrome. Fortunately, some of the cats were relatively unharmed, even after falling from high floors. (One was fine after falling 42 stories.) The explanation? The cats hit terminal velocity, relaxed in mid-air, and glided to an easy landing. On their feet, of course.


TC said...

Totally fearful and fraught the life of the animal in the city.

We have been the neighborhood soft touch for strays and ferals since just before recorded memory set in.

In the mid-1980s a pair of small sister tortoiseshells, one dark, one pale, began appearing regularly.

We adopted one of them permanently, the dark one, the less favoured of the pair.

She seemed a bit bent out of shape, perhaps that's what made her feel right at home here.

Anyhow, there developed a backstory: we learned from over-the-fence gossip that the pair had been born wild on a golf course (the rough, as they call it), been briefly adopted by an AIDS victim and his ménage, but then... the darker and stranger of the pair had been thrown out a city apartment window.

The bent part then made more sense, the poor dear little thing.

She was a tough cookie, had many later hair-raising near-death adventures, but fought on into howling dementia before giving up the territory some three or four years ago...

I guess I am longwindedly attempting to suggest that if it's in the lower storeys, defenestration isn't necessarily the end of Kitty Everything.

(I have this in confidence from Elvis, Undercover.)

Nin Andrews said...

I grew up on a farm, and cats were always being dumped off. As a kid, I loved it. The more cats, the better, but it is creepy. What people do to animals.

What an amazing link! I would never believe it. Where do you find these things? Blew me away. Nixon, Elvis?