Cats Protection Inverurie
Purrfect landing

SOX the cat used up one of her nine
third-floor flat and escaped completely
lives after she plunged 40ft - from a
unscathed. The mischievous three-year-old
strayed too close to the window of her
owner’s Tollcross home before tumbling out.

Sox, named after the white fur patches on her paws, had been indoors with owner Colleen Hanlin, 36, and her son Troy, eight, in a top-floor tenement flat on Drumdryan Street on Saturday night.

Safe in the knowledge that the pet was resting at her favourite spot near the kitchen windowsill, Colleen settled down for an evening in front of the television.

But when she later went to feed her pet, Sox had disappeared.

Believing she had wandered off into the tenement stairwell, Colleen went in search of the errant animal.

With no sign of Sox on the stairs, Colleen was about to knock on her neighbours’ doors to see if they had seen her when she heard the sound of miaowing coming from the back green.

When she opened the door to the garden, Sox came padding through - shaken but otherwise unharmed.

"I was absolutely convinced that I was going to find her in a pool of blood," said Colleen. "However, I opened up the door and there she was.

"It was such a relief because when I realised she had fallen out of the window I expected her to be badly hurt."

After being given an injection to treat her shock by the vet, Sox is now safely ensconced back in her favourite spot by the kitchen window.

But Colleen has vowed never to give her cat the same opportunity for misadventure again.

She said: "I’ve learned my lesson and the window will remain firmly closed in future!"

Leonora Merry, of the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said she was amazed at Sox’s death-defying feat.

But she urged cat owners in high-rise buildings to ensure that their pets were unable to approach open windows.

She said: "This cat was very, very lucky. It is commonly known that cats have nine lives, but by the sound of it Sox has definitely used up a few of those.

"Due to their low body weight and extraordinarily highly developed inner ears, cats have a sense of balance that humans could never hope to attain. However, a fall such as this would ordinarily have resulted in cracked ribs, broken legs and even death.

"We would always encourage cat owners to keep their windows closed, or at least inaccessible to their pet."

She added: "Curiosity did not kill the cat on this occasion, but it could easily have done."

Aileen Brown, principal veterinary surgeon at the Cat Clinic on Blackford Avenue, said a high percentage of felines survive high falls. "In the veterinary world we call this kind of case ‘high-rise syndrome’," she said.

"The Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery conducted a study on these kind of incidents in their October publication.

"What it found was that cats actually get into more trouble when they fall from lower heights because they have less time to adjust their body position.

"However, there is no doubt that Sox was very lucky not to have sustained any kind of injury."