Accidents happen – even among indoor cats. “You never know what’s going to happen,” says Seattle resident Diana McDougle. She recited those words days after Baxter, her indoor-only 9-year-old domestic longhair, plummeted 11 stories out of her high-rise apartment’s unscreened window to the ground below.
Unfortunately, he didn’t land squarely on his paws. “There had been a fire in our building, so my husband and I temporarily relocated to a different unit,” McDougle recalls. “Baxter had only been in our new space for a day, and we hadn’t thought to check the windows for screens.”
Their clever cat nudged open a window and stepped out to explore, but the ledge was too tight for a turnaround, she says. “We didn’t realize how easily the windows slid open until it was too late,” McDougle says. “I saw Baxter on the other side of the window, and there wasn’t enough room for him to turn and come back in.”
Baxter survived the fall but not without a long and costly list of injuries. He suffered a broken collarbone and a dislocated sternum, and developed fluid around his heart and lungs, which required a four-day stay in the emergency clinic for careful monitoring.
Good thing McDougle had planned for a just-in-case scenario like this.
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