Chicago cat makes leap from fifth floor of burning building

Chicago cat makes leap from fifth floor of burning building

May 14, 2021

The cat that really must have nine lives! Feline makes death-defying leap from fifth floor of burning Chicago building before calmly walking away

  • Cat survived leap from the fifth floor of a burning building unscathed 
  • Video was posted on social media by Chicago Fire Department on Thursday
  • The fire-fleeing feline missed a wall as it came hurtling downward 
  • Landed on four paws, bounced once off grass before immediately walking away 

A cat made a death-defying leap to safety from the fifth floor of a burning building before calmly walking away.

A video posted to social media by Chicago Fire Department on Thursday shows smoke coming from the window of an apartment in Chicago.

Chicago Fire Department staff were taking a video of the exterior of the building as firefighters were extinguishing the blaze.  

Debris could be seen falling from the broken windows as the black cat appeared through the smoke at one window. 

A video posted to social media by Chicago Fire Media on Thursday shows smoke coming from the window of an apartment in Chicago as the black cat appeared through the smoke at a broken window

The fire-fleeing feline briefly tested the side of the building with its front paws and then jumped for safety.

Onlookers stared in amazement with one stunned eyewitness shouting  ‘Look at the cat!’ 

Fortunately the animal missed a wall landing miraculously all four paws on  a patch of grass in front of the building.  

It bounced once off the grass before running away. 

Fire department spokesman Larry Langford said: ‘It went under my car and hid until she felt better after a couple of minutes and came out and tried to scale the wall to get back in.’ 

The cat was not injured, Langford said, adding he was trying to track down its owner. 


The fire-fleeing feline briefly tested the side of the building with its front paws and then jumped, as onlookers gasped and one, alarmed, cried: ‘Look at the cat!’

No injuries were reported after the fire, which was confined to one apartment. The cause of the fire hasn’t been reported by officials, nor how much damage resulted. 

A cat’s ability to land on its feet is caused by what is often referred to as the cat-righting reflex, according to Science Focus. 

Their flexible backbone and lack of collarbone means it can twist the two halves of its body in opposite directions, causing ‘their opposing angular momenta to largely cancel’. Its body will be oriented in a different direction when it unbends. 

This is one of the most important movements of the cat’s manoeuvre, but a cat must use several different motions to turn quickly and efficiently. 

It missed a wall as it hurtled downward and instead landed on all four paws on the grass, bouncing once off the grass before immediately running away

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