Successful 5-story free fall for daredevil cat escaping fire

Originally published at: Successful 5-story free fall for daredevil cat escaping fire | Boing Boing

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I recall (years ago, so I may be misremembering the numbers) but a local paper had a story about an academic study that found that cats are more likely to survive a fall for 4 or more stories than one of 2 stories. The paper went on to theorize about having enough time to reverse the initial instinct to tense up. Given the additional time, cats may spread out (lowering their terminal velocity) and relax their muscles (possibly preventing certain injuries upon impact).

The following day, the paper ran outraged letters to the editor condemning experiments where researchers toss cats out of buildings.

The editors then explained (or reiterated) that the study was not an experiment but a literature review of accidental falls recorded in patient records from vet clinics.

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Man. If this keeps going, we’ll eventually see cats with patagium membranes twixt their legs, like flying squirrels.

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I’ve also seen the theory that cats falling from high heights have time to empty their bladder and can then land flat without the risk of rupturing it.

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Happens in people too, but for a different reason.

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There is some parallax in the structures—we’re not just looking at a building but also a wall some distance away from the building—so kitty doesn’t just survive the fall, he eyeballs the distance to the wall and lands just on the other side

He’s really good at this, I wonder if he’s done it before

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Possibly the study referenced here?

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Nice theory and all, but Occam’s Razor applies: it’s because cats are made of Silly Putty.

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When I was in Vet school, we learned this. Per my professor, it’s positional. Fall from a low height, and they survive because of relatively low forces. Medium height, the forces get dangerous, and they don’t have time to do the “cat always lands on it’s feet” double axis of rotation trick, and land with significant forces in an uncontrolled position. From greater heights, they still contend with significant forces, but are able to shift position and maximize defensive posture (help break fall with springy leg tendons/ligaments) etc…

My wife confirmed this when she was an intern at the Animal Medical Center in NY. The “high rise” cats survive above a certain floor level when they hit terminal velocity and have time to position themselves properly. They often split their mandible and crack sternums, but survive.

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On topic:

Good for that cat.

Off-topic (because the comments elsewhere were disabled, for some reason, and because the last bbs thread about climate change closed 3 days ago):

The course will cost you \$199.

But I’ll tell you what NFTs are for totally free.

NFTs are ff-ing bad for the environment.

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Still open:

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Definitely a 10! Hennessy absolutely nailed that landing.

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