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Off the Ledge

by Stacey Sharpe, Canandaigua, NY, USA


One of our apartments in Virginia was on the third floor with a balcony and chest high railing. In this builiding we found friends in the neighbors right across the hall who also had a gaggle of felines.

All felines, both hers and ours, are indoor cats, but we thought it fine to let them out on the balcony, thinking they were smart enough not to jump off. Well, they didn't jump off, but they often gave us heart attacks when we'd glance out and a kitty or two would be walking nonchalantly atop the thin railing.

One day I was in the living room and heard a *THUMP* out on my balcony. All my kitties were indoors as it was raining. When I looked out the glass doors, there was my neighbors' kitty, standing wet in the rain, looking in at me with a very disgusted look on his face. I went out and scooped him up and brought him across the hall.

After knocking for quite a while, I realized that the neighbor wasn't home, so I kept the wet kitty in my bedroom (fearing cat fights with my kitties) until I heard the neighbor come home.

It turned out that the kitty must have snuck out that morning while neighbors husband was enjoying his morning coffee on the balcony and went unnoticed when the couple locked up and headed for work. So when it started to rain he decided to take a leap of faith, so to speak, over to my balcony on the off-chance that I would be home to rescue him.

We still can't believe that cat made that jump, as it had to be a good 5 feet across, and he would have had to start from a very thin railing and clear my railing for a safe landing.

----- Editor's note:

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