high wire cat
May 12, 2016 1:19 AM   Subscribe

 
PRECARITY IS HOW I FEEL INSIDE RICK. ALL THE TIME.
posted by juv3nal at 1:43 AM on May 12, 2016 [31 favorites]


I hate heights!!!

Also, if he found a way up, he can find a way down. Leave him alone.
posted by orrnyereg at 1:46 AM on May 12, 2016


When cats are in peril and we humans try to rescue them is when we confront the essential feline nature. Which is motherfucker, step back, I can handle this, don't try to help, I will kill you. And then, once the danger has passed, it's I'm going to curl on your lap and purr and feel really safe, not that I need reassurance or anything, just, you know, can you scratch that one spot, yeah, you're cool.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:50 AM on May 12, 2016 [13 favorites]


Gravity 1 - cat 0.

No cat has ever admitted that gravity won anything.
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:56 AM on May 12, 2016 [14 favorites]


In six hours I'm taking an exam for a class that I missed two weeks' worth of lectures on. I am this cat. This is my life now. Perhaps we are all this cat. Let us pray for the pole and sheet of rescue.
posted by teponaztli at 1:56 AM on May 12, 2016 [44 favorites]


Also, if he found a way up, he can find a way down. Leave him alone.

Cats are REALLY bad about knowing how to back down things (this is why they get stuck in trees), and their gripping claws are designed basically to only work on the way up.

My personal experience with this is that when I was growing up we had an indoor cat who we would let out for roaming, and we'd open a door and call it and her would come in. One afternoon we opened the back door and called to her and heard her meowing from someplace in the backyard, but we couldn't locate her anywhere and she wasn't coming in. We finally located her cries from above us, and she was sitting on the horizontal top of a 25-30' utility pole strung along the cinder block back wall of the yard. The family was debating what to do -- we had no ladder that would reach that high, and it's not like calling a ladder truck was going to do anything, with no back alley on the block.

We were literally standing in the backyard, talking about the situation (I might have been maybe 14 or 15 at the time, with my younger sister and my parents) and we were occasionally calling to her, trying to coax her down.

All of a sudden, she just jumped. She wasn't trying to climb down, she just made a leap. And landed *whomp* in an elevated planter that ran the width of the back of the yard, with a PUFF of dirt, and then almost like she hadn't hit the ground but just changed directions, she took off out of the yard at a run that seemed to match the speed of her descent.

She came back into the yard and asked to be let in a while later. And I can't remember her climbing anything outdoors after that day. She lived to be 21, a skin-covered cat skeleton who found it painful to be picked up or petted too much but who would still find me and curl up in my lap and sleep and purr when I came back to visit my parents.
posted by hippybear at 2:06 AM on May 12, 2016 [55 favorites]


Here's the actual youtube video instead of a shitty pixellated rip. I can't understand why the article can't just link to youtube.
posted by Rhomboid at 2:17 AM on May 12, 2016 [10 favorites]


Here's the original video, for people on mobile who'd rather watch it full screen than look at an animated thumbnail in a sea of black pixels, or 'photos' of the YouTube site...
posted by effbot at 2:21 AM on May 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


The cat could probably have fallen off and not hurt himself much. Their surface area to weight ratio means they can fall from much higher than humans. It would scare him, sure, but he'd walk away. Maybe limp away.
posted by Justinian at 2:24 AM on May 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


When I was a kid, one of our cats got stuck at the top of a tree in front of our house and started yowling. My mom called the fire department, and the guy she talked to said "lady, they don't find cat skeletons at the tops of trees."

Looking back, I'm realizing that they wouldn't find cat skeletons in trees because they'd fall out, but anyway, our cat managed to work his way back down and it never happened again.
posted by teponaztli at 2:30 AM on May 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


Hang in there, baby!
posted by radwolf76 at 2:47 AM on May 12, 2016 [11 favorites]


Came here to say "Hang in there Baby" and was not disappointed.
posted by chavenet at 2:54 AM on May 12, 2016 [9 favorites]


Why did the guy up the ladder not just grab it by the back of the neck instead of making a half-arsed attempt? He had gloves on.

Anyway - daft cat.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 3:06 AM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


"The cat could probably have fallen off and not hurt himself much. Their surface area to weight ratio means they can fall from much higher than humans. It would scare him, sure, but he'd walk away. Maybe limp away."

Cats regularly fall from as high as thirty stories and survive with few or no injuries. However, this height, which looks like about two or three stories, is around the range where cat fall casualties are supposedly the greatest. While cats in short falls immediately orient themselves feet down, in somewhat longer falls, like this one, you can see that they will reorient several times and so in these intermediate falls they are more likely to land badly. In falls from greater heights, say, six to thirty stories, they reach their relatively low terminal velocity and have enough time to settle into a stable landing form. But, again, casualties maximized in that lower range of only a few stories.

There's bias in this, of course, as this relies upon vet reports and cats who die from long falls are not brought to the vet, so it could be that survival from long falls is overestimated relative to shorter falls and likewise the relative risk of the lower fall. Even so, long-fall survival turns out to be surprisingly common.

This is unfortunately regularly seen in urban environments with tall buildings and balconies or open windows -- it's thought that cats will sit on railings/sills and then instinctively lunge at birds, instigating falls.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:16 AM on May 12, 2016 [12 favorites]


He should have just strapped a piece of buttered toast to the cats back when the cat was in reach. Then the cat would know which way to orient itself for the fall.
posted by Nanukthedog at 3:29 AM on May 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


Cats regularly fall from as high as thirty stories and survive with few or no injuries.

But I think there's a danger here in confusing "cats survive long falls without injury more often than you think" with "a cat will be okay after a long fall."

Like you point out, there is bias, as cats that die are not always brought to the vet. But also, there are plenty of serious injuries from long falls! And deaths.

(I guess what I'm saying is, if you have high windows or balconies, don't just assume that if moggie falls out, they'll be okay. Protect your dumbass cat!)
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 3:39 AM on May 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


Everybody's focusing on the cat going up the pole without a plan for coming back down - it's the human that went up the ladder without a plan for catching the cat that bothers me.
posted by Dr Dracator at 3:51 AM on May 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


Of all the fool cat things I've seen fool cats do, I don't think that's THE absolute fool cattest.

Libby the Cat's picture was in the dictionary next to "fool cat." Some of the predicaments I found her and when I got home from work: sitting very still on top of the dressmaker's dummy with the window blind cords wrapped around her neck; stuck between the window and the window screen with her paws all caught up in her special breakaway flea collar; lost behind the wallboards... She also had Pica, with its tendency to eat things that aren't food. I have no idea how she got that spool of silk embroidery thread out of a locked drawer, but it had to be cut out of her fool cat innards. More than once I saw her knock down a glass light bulb or Christmas ornament, pick up a large shard in her teeth, and walk off with it. Luckily we always managed to catch her in time. Darn fool cat.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 4:08 AM on May 12, 2016 [19 favorites]


My old apartment was a strict no pets building, which didn't stop our downstairs neighbor from having a ferret, or the neighbor at the other end of the complex from having a cat that they let out to sit out in front of their place. So we felt okay feeding some of the strays that were around (one of whom moved with us, and fourteen years later is still healthy and awesome). Every once in a while, diplomatic relations amongst the strays would falter, and chasings, yowlings, and tusslings would happen. The apartment was two stories and an "L" shape, with us at the far end of the L and the other cat owner people at the other end, overlooking the street. There was a walkway connecting all the apartments in the front, and from the walkway to the street was a good twenty foot drop.

One day, one of the larger strays was chasing one of the smaller ones. The small one came up the stairs like a shot, the larger one right behind, and for whatever reason, the smaller one just kept running straight off the balcony, out into the air. It landed with an audible thud on the pavement, and seemed stunned for a split second, then just tore off down the street. It was in the air long enough for everyone to see it, and for me to think, "oh, nooooooooo silly cat, what are you dooooooiiiing?"
posted by Ghidorah at 4:23 AM on May 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


Nine... Eight... Seven...

Six! oh god six!

FIVE FOUR THREE

TWOOOOOOO!!!!!!

One. One life left.
posted by adept256 at 4:39 AM on May 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


I got sweaty palms with this and it's just a stupid cat.
posted by carter at 5:06 AM on May 12, 2016


"lady, they don't find cat skeletons at the tops of trees."

that's because the wind knocks them down

and who the hell looks anyway?
posted by pyramid termite at 5:15 AM on May 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


Related:

SAIL
posted by Mayor West at 5:24 AM on May 12, 2016 [8 favorites]


Tightrope walking, spinning round the rope, and a graceful descent into a safety net - the cat was merely performing acrobatics for an assembled crowd with nary a care in the world. Humans are fools.
posted by billiebee at 5:26 AM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Hang in there, baby!
posted by JohnFromGR at 5:32 AM on May 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


I always found the quickest and safest way to get a cat down from high places was a hose.

It is also less stressful than someone trying to grab it.
posted by Burn_IT at 6:01 AM on May 12, 2016


my SO got an unexpected bonus so he decided to spend it on cat shelves. he bought $500 bucks on cat shelves

the problems is that two of the cats out of three are big fat cats. and the shelves are kind of small, so the big fat cats are scared to jump to the first one, so we have to rearrange it

the ladder has been out during this process and one of the big fat cats, possessed by something, CHARGED up to the top of the ladder like a little monkey instead of a big fat cat. He sat on the top of the ladder

the problem was that the top of the ladder wasn't big enough for his bulk. he got up there though, so he was committed, and we watched as he tried various things: front paws dangling, nope, not enough room, one leg dangling, nope, still too much cat fat

then gravity ultimately had its way with him and he fell off the ladder, again like a monkey, this like a desperate one, slowing his descent by wrapping a paw around a railing here and there.

I like to think the sound in his head, as was in the cat of the FPP's head:

eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
posted by angrycat at 6:11 AM on May 12, 2016 [24 favorites]


I'm pretty sure that superpredators like housecats, that prey on little things that live in trees, are perfectly capable of both ascent and descent. Maybe an individual cat hasn't got a handle on it yet but s/he will.

I always found the quickest and safest way to get a cat down from high places was a hose.

Most satisfying, too.

the guy she talked to said "lady, they don't find cat skeletons at the tops of trees."

This guy knew what was up.
posted by Sternmeyer at 6:30 AM on May 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


When one of our cats decided to go up a tree, in my family we always handled it by setting an enticing bowl of dry food at the foot of the tree and walking away. More than once I saw them back down the tree, slowly and haltingly, until they were low enough to jump the rest of the way.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:42 AM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


I just want to tell you that i really enjoy this FPP title. I think this all the time with my cats.
posted by zutalors! at 9:44 AM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


My old fat orange tabby, Pyewacket, once climbed up a tree in our backyard when she was out with the family for some outdoor time. Up up means down down, and so she ended up falling a good 15 feet or so. Ran back into the house, ate everything in sight, slept for three days. She was fine, but never again wanted outdoor time. Lived to be 17.
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 10:32 AM on May 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


Why did the guy up the ladder not just grab it by the back of the neck instead of making a half-arsed attempt? He had gloves on.

When he first got up there the cat had its front half of the body inside the hole of the pole, so he could only grab its back/butt. And I guess the glove was slippery enough that the cat just wrangled free and went through the other side, away from where he could grab it.
posted by numaner at 11:46 AM on May 12, 2016


I'm really charmed that all those people came together to save the life of one cat.
posted by AFABulous at 3:00 PM on May 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


I always found the quickest and safest way to get a cat down from high places was a hose.


Not if the high place in question is a power line...
posted by El Mariachi at 11:16 PM on May 12, 2016


My big old Maine Coon Max (RIP) had a unique way of getting down the tree he used to get on the roof for some damn fool cat reason. He'd stretch his front legs waaaay down the tree, set his claws, and let his big old butt and gravity swing him until he was facing up again about a foot from where he started. Then, inch by inch, he'd turn around, stretch the front legs, set the claws, let gravity and butt do their thing again, repeat, repeat. It was fun to watch.
posted by thebrokedown at 7:05 PM on May 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


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