Sugar reportedly plunged from her owner's Boston apartment, landing atop a small mulch patch that helped brace her impact.
"Whether cats can sometimes aim, so if it did it itself or if it was a combination of luck or both," said Animal Rescue League of Boston asst. manager Mike Brammer. "[I]t managed to hit that small patch of mulch, so it was very soft ground."
Also contributing to the cat's survival was a "flying squirrel"-like ability to glide, and the oddly calming effect of reaching terminal velocity. "[The sensation of falling] kind of levels out so they don’t feel as stressed and they relax a little bit," said Brammer.
Sugar's 32-year-old owner Brittney Kirk, who was tracked down thanks to a microchip embedded in the animal, said she left the window open so the apartment wouldn't get too warm for her cat.
She told MSNBC she was relieved to learn her cat would be all right, but not entirely surprised. "[I]f there were a cat to fall 19 stories and to be fine, I think it would definitely be Sugar, because she’s a pretty special cat."
An actual game of cat and mouse unfolded in a garden in Reigate, Surrey, when an audacious rodent took on his kitty captor for a full ten minutes before managing to escape.
According to witnesses, the wood mouse was brought into the garden by the cat, who had most likely expected an easy meal. But the critter soon went all Mighty Mouse, pummelling the cat with a succession of effective blows before escaping.
A neighbor who spotted the same mouse in his greenhouse said, "he refused to run off. He was probably waiting patiently to smash a flower-pot over the cat's head!"