It is no wonder that some people believe cats have 9 lives –they certainly have survived some impossible circumstances!

Falling from great heights
While we understand the physical ability of how a cat can land on his feet , the concept of surviving after tumbling off of a sky scraper is hard to believe. In 1993, an 18 month old cat named Mogadon fell from a window ledge nearly 21 stories high.  Because she was fortunate enough to land on a bush, the force of the fall was decreased, allowing the cat to bounce right onto the cement sidewalk. There she walked around until a neighbor who had witnessed the scene, went to comfort her.

Unsinkable Sam

Unsinkable Sam

Unsinkable Sam by Georgina Shaw-Baker (UK National Maritime Museum, Greenwich)

During WWII one cat who lived on board a German ship called the Bismarck, managed to live through a vicious torpedo attack that left only 115 of the original 2,200 crewmen.  When a group of Brits found the cat floating on a piece of wood, they named him Oscar and made him an inhabitant of the HMS Cossack.  Three days later, this ship also was tragically attacked, but Oscar escaped when that ship too sank under the waves. This inspired his new name “Unsinkable Sam” and the cat was transfer to a large aircraft carrier called the HMS Ark Royal.  For the third time, Unsinkable Sam’s ship was destroyed by the enemy, leaving the cat once again a survivor without a ship. The British Navy then decided to retire the veteran from his duties on board (for though HE was lucky, the ships he sailed on were not!). Unsinkable Sam lived for 14 more years in a cozy Belfast Home after surviving the sinking of 3 different ships!

Chloe the champion chimney sweep:
When her pet-parents embarked on a lengthy trip to Vietnam, Chloe the cat was given into the care of the next-door neighbors who planned to feed and provide nightly shelter for her. Two days into the trip, Chloe crossed the roof in search of a way to get back inside her own house.  She crawled into the chimney and became stuck, unbeknownst to her neighbors who searched in a panic for weeks.  Having lost all hope, the pet owners arrived back some 6 weeks later, and were shocked to find their emaciated cat whimpering in the chimney shaft. Chloe has since been fully recovered;  but living for six weeks without food and water is an impressive feat for any creature!

Ticket to ride
Phoenix was just a kitten when she crawled under a parked car to escape the Arizona heat. The little munchkin situated herself into the bumper of the car and accidentally got stuck inside.  The car owners Russ and Tracy Perry could hear faint meowing, but after finding no trace of a cat anywhere around the car, they continued the journey.  Some 400 miles later the Perrys arrived in California and took the car to a mechanic for a check-up.  There they found the kitten had ridden the entire distance in the bumper, and had arrived without a scratch!

Post-mortem perplexity
Florida’s Humane Society at Tampa Bay was astonished when they found out what their latest arrival had gone though. After Bart was hit by a car, his owner found the body bloodied and as stiff as a corpse. He buried the cat, but was shocked when 5 days later, Bart appeared in the front yard covered in dirt and blood.  The cat had dug himself out of the grave, and made his way to safety where he received treatment for a broken jaw and lost an eye. Bart was later referred to as the “Miracle Cat” because of how he amazingly survived and accident and a burial!

Tackle a pack of Pit Bulls
Though the loyalty of dogs is often trumpeted more than that of cats, there is no denying that felines heroically exert their own protective instincts. When 97-year old Sophie Thomas was gardening in her front yard, a group of four Pit Bull Terriers attacked her without warning.  While Thomas feared being mauled to death by these ferocious and notorious human killers, her courageous cat Tiger leapt to the rescue and distracted the dogs long enough for the elderly woman to get away. She went inside to treat the bite wounds and mourn the loss of her sacrificial cat, who would surely be ripped to shreds.  Thomas was delighted and relieved when Tiger returned later that day, having escaped in fine condition!

Felines have been celebrated for numerous other marvels such as rescuing babies from danger, attacking formidable foes such as black bears and alligators, and evening mysteriously being able to dial 9-1-1 when their owners suffer heart attacks.  Though small of stature and reputedly stoic of expression, cats have shown their devoted owners that they can be endlessly intrepid and determined to survive, even when all hope is lost.