We have three 2nd-floor balconies. Although our cats would not likely suffer any problems jumping the 12 or so feet to the ground, we take no chances. We’ve affixed netting that encloses the railings so that the cats can enjoy sitting in the sun on the balcony floor, but can’t jump up to access the wide (and relatively safe) railing. I cannot fathom living in a high rise with a cat and not blocking every available access to a window or balcony that could lead to accidental falls. Even if your cat has good balance, no cat ever has purrfect balance 100% of the time, and the diversion of a bird or insect flitting across the field of view could result in a lunge from safety.
I was aghast to read that the Washingtons have not only often witnessed Voodoo on the brink of falling, but that they suspected he’d gone over the night he fell but didn’t actually care enough to go downstairs and see if he was on the ground alive but suffering from injuries. They went down the next morning looking for the body.
Here’s the complete story from Goldcoast.com.au:
This cat fell 34 floors from a Runaway Bay penthouse and survived to see out the rest of his eight lives.
Voodoo the seven-year-old manx has always had an affinity for heights and enjoys living life on the edge.
His owner Sheree Washington said he often teetered on the edge of the balcony, much to her horror.
She and her husband Wayne first noticed Voodoo was missing about 9pm on Monday, after the couple had finished dinner.
“We searched high and low several times and he was nowhere to be found,” said Mr Washington.
“At 1am, we went to bed.”
Mrs Washington said: “It was a very daunting night and I figured if I found him, he wouldn’t be alive.”
Yesterday morning, she made the journey downstairs, expecting to find her beloved cat’s body at the base of the high rise.
Instead, she found Voodoo with nothing more than a few scratches.
“I just saw him lying under the bushes,” she said.
“He was just crouched back in the corner.”
Voodoo had fallen 34 floors and landed on a bush.
Mrs Washington said there was no doubt in her mind the bush had saved his life.
Several branches were snapped, clearly indicating where Voodoo had landed.
“I grabbed the cat box, put him in it and drove him to the vet,” she said.
“Normally, if he sees the cat box he hides because he knows we’re taking him somewhere, but he just jumped straight in.”
Miraculously, Voodoo walked away from the incident with a bloodshot eye, a scratched ear, a cut mouth and a damaged paw.
Mrs Washington said the vet told her the record for an animal surviving a fall was a cat in New York which fell 64 storeys.
The vet told her on lower floors cats tended to injure themselves but by falling from further up, they had time to right themselves and land on their feet.
The vet gave Voodoo an antibiotic injection and told Mrs Washington to observe him overnight.
“The temperature, the heartbeat, everything else was fine and she poked and prodded and couldn’t see any signs of damage,” she said.
“Apparently his colour was good, which meant he didn’t have any internal bleeding.”
Mr Washington said the incident was ‘unbelievable’.
“I was convinced he was dead and was coming home for a burial instead of a celebration,” he said.
“He’s a very lucky cat.”
Voodoo was born at a property at Allora near Warwick. The Washingtons fell in love with him and his brother Rocket and brought them to the Gold Coast.
Rocket died four years ago after eating a toad fish near their waterfront house in Paradise Waters.
A year later, the couple moved to the penthouse of the Broadwater Tower with Voodoo in tow.
“He’s quite happy here,” said Mrs Washington.
“I’d feel terrible when he’d walk along the edge — it just makes your palms sweat.
“I used to joke that if you ever found the cat downstairs, post him under the door because there was no way he’d survive.”
This is not the first time Voodoo’s love of heights has ended in trouble.
“Where we used to live, we had a big norfolk pine and he managed to climb nearly to the top of that when he was only a kitten,” she said.
“My daughter climbed the tree with a backpack on because the crows were swooping the tree and brought him down.”
Mrs Washington said Voodoo had been very quiet since the fall and did not eat or drink yesterday, but the prognosis seemed good.
With any luck, Voodoo would be back to normal and eating his Christmas prawns.
Voodoo’s going need some serious white magic to survive life with the Washington family.