Friday, June 29, 2012
CATS AND HIGH-RISE SYNDROME
Everyone knows cats will climb to the highest point they can physically get to. Many of us have been exasperated by our feline companions as we attempted to coax them down from on top of the refrigerator, the china closet, a shelf and heaven only knows what else. Buddy's favorite place was the transom window above my back door, traversing my kitchen counter, stove and refrigerator to get there.
Cats do love high places as much as they love the great outdoors. During the summer, the lure of both can be a dangerous and possibly deadly one. Apartment living above the first floor is fine for a cat as long as opened windows have closed screens. When we were young, my cousin had a Siamese cat. I recall one summer when all the kids on the block were yelling because my Aunt opened the front window and the cat was walking on the second floor ledge. Thankfully the cat allowed himself to be enticed back inside with a treat but that was certainly a potential for disaster. I never forgot it.
Buddy either fell or was tossed from a third-story apartment. When we took him in he had a scab on his chin. His first doctor visit turned up two missing front teeth. Since his 'owner' who lived in an apartment diagonally across from us appeared on our doorstep one year after we took Buddy in, I've always believed Buddy was tossed from the window. Judging from the amount of yelling and screaming from his former home, it was a safe bet to assume the family was abusive.
Always remember, felines believe they have nine lives, living life fearlessly and taking all kinds of chances. It's up to their two-legged companions to be ever vigilant when it comes to their safety. Only open screened-in windows. Better yet, designate one window for your cat's use and add a perch or window-seat so kitty can enjoy the great outdoors safely. Read the ASPCA link concerning High-rise syndrome: