Black Cat Leaps Five Stories From Burning Chicago Building and Survives

Although the death-defying leap was cool to see, this sort of thing is quite common because cats instinctively know how to fall.

One small black cat in Chicago, Illinois, proved just how lucky it was. When a fire broke out in a building in the Englewood neighborhood earlier this week, one feline-in-residence had to save itself.

As smoke streamed from the window of a fifth-floor apartment, the cat appeared and made a death-defying leap. The lucky cat bounced when it hit the ground but then got up and casually ran away.

“Cats are incredibly durable,” veterinarian Dr. Laurie Hess says. “The remarkable thing is that cats that suffer these falls, most of them survive. I mean, in, in ways that, you know, if you were a human being, you would never survive, but they do survive.”

And although cool to see, she says that this sort of thing is quite common. “Cats are falling out windows all the time, really common in the spring and summer months because they're sitting on window ledges, people leave their windows open, or their screens aren't in tight.”

Dr. Laurie explains that, unlike humans, cats instinctively know how to fall. “When we dive off a diving board or if we fall, you know, we'll kind of tumble, it'd be all over the place, and maybe we're going headfirst. They just managed to like flatten themselves. I mean, it's almost like a cartoon.”

She does point out, though, that even though the lucky cat is okay, it should still get medical attention just to be safe. But because cats are resilient, it will most likely be okay. “They get better with time. So they're pretty incredible, that whole nine-lives thing, I think definitely applies to cats that fall.”

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