Leap into the unknown

Leo jumped out of the first floor bedroom window yesterday.  I didn’t see him but it’s the only possible way he could have ended up out on the back lawn, stalking small things in the grass.  The bedroom transom window had only been open a crack.


As a dog person, it’s hard to believe a kitten can drop that far and survive perfectly happily. I thought he might be stiff later, or today but he’s not. He’s big for his age, lithe and rippling with fitness. I must find out anatomically, precisely what enables a cat’s jumping/landing gear. It’s not something I’ve ever thought about before.


Runty Lily is growing sweet and beautiful and stocky in comparison but still not big enough to make the spring to a windowsill or, thank goodness, leap into the unknown.


I don’t know how people manage with cats who never go out. Do they keep every window closed all the time? Does their cat never streak past their ankles like an exocet missile?


I let the kittens out for 20 minutes to half an hour or so every day now. I get them in by playing with them or they come in of their own accord. I still wouldn’t chance it within half an hour of having to leave for work though, just in case.


The garden’s such a fascinating place for them just now, with a few fallen leaves, the grass thick and cold and damp with dew in the mornings and always the chance of finding the odd froglet. There are lots of hiding places in the dying herbaceous shrubs. They play wild games of tag, streaking from one side of the garden to the other.


It’s only in the garden that their tabby markings really come into play. They are very difficult indeed to spot in the shadows. Which, I suppose, is the point.



About janh1

Part-time hedonist.
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13 Responses to Leap into the unknown

  1. IsobelandCat says:

    Lucky he didn’t hurt himself. that may be one life gone. There was a tv programme years ago, I used to have a video tape of it, showing how cats right themselves when they fall. There was also stuff about their shock absorbers. Cat has arthritis in his spine. apparently that’s pretty common in older cats. I just noticed that he wasn’t jumping anymore.

    Love the ref to their camouflage stripes.

  2. janh1 says:

    Miraculous, really, Isobel.

    Oh poor Cat. Hope he isn’t in pain. Not even sure how you tell when a cat is in pain, other than from their movement.

    Lily doesn’t have the same jumping skills at all. She can jump up into my lap now but that’s all. She definitely can’t do the windowsills or the worktops .

  3. IsobelandCat says:

    I think cats and dogs do all they can to disguise being in pain. Cat certainly didn’t make a fuss; I just noticed that he was not jumping and spoke to the vet. cat was scrambling rather than jumping; digging his claws in (sometimes into me) and hauling himself up and onto places he wanted to be. She suggested trying a quarter of a soluble aspirin to see if that would help, but after three months I couldn’t see an improvement, so now he has daily meds. I’ve been warned they may stop working, but it’s obvious they help, and sometimes he leaps about like a kitten. I do lift him when he cries on the stairs; and there’s a stool at the end of the bed to allow him to step up…

    • janh1 says:

      I’m glad he’s on meds that help. My mother in law’s dog was on Metacam for dodgy joints.

      We looked after him once while she was in hospital and it was only when she came out that I discovered why he was bounding about happily like a spring lamb – I’d misread her writing and I’d been giving him about twice what he should have had…. erm…no harm done though. 🙂 It was very good stuff.

  4. IsobelandCat says:

    That’s what Cat is on! It must be the standard stuff.
    I’ve been warned it may stop being effective after a while, so I hope they have something lined up to keep a spring in his step.

    The vet told me that often arthritis in the spine is only picked up when cats are x-rayed for something else.

    I am already feeling guilty that he is in for a long stay at the cattery.

    • janh1 says:

      Oh good! Ben was on it for at least six years with no decreased effects so I wouldn’t worry too much, although obviously he was a dog.

      Sounds like the separation will affect both of you.. 😉 Are you off somewhere nice?

  5. IsobelandCat says:

    Derbyshire for a walking break, then Munich for a conference. I’ve a couple of days home in the middle, but Cat will stay in the cattery.

  6. IsobelandCat says:

    Thanks. The forecast looks pretty good, and if it pelts down one day, I’ll just chill, or if poss go to Chatsworth which I have never seen.

    Must post about Cat falling out of the window a few years ago and my astounding rescue!

  7. They are fairly resilient but its better if they don’t get the chance to be. Frequently cats that fall out of windows break their jaws because that’s what hits the ground first. Sophie once fell out of a second floor flat window and was fine, a friend’s cat did the same and damaged her spine which led to her being put to sleep.

    Bertha managed to get out of my bedroom window one evening during the summer and jumped down onto the bay window beneath. She hadn’t realised it has a curve on it and she went scooting off like it was a ski jump onto the grass below. The noise was the only thing that alerted me that she had got outside.

    • janh1 says:

      Nightmare about your friend’s cat which damaged its spine.

      Honestly, Sophie, have they *no* sense? I kind of hope that Leo will have learned a lesson but I’m not chancing it and keeping windows closed where he happens to be. Quite claustrophobic though. I hate closed windows.

      • They have no sense as kittens – nine lives and all that. They will get a little better but never lose their curiosity. You may be able to leave your windows open in about a year’s time……

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