Eight Lives To Go...

A South Carolina house cat named Piper plummeted 80 ft. from a tree last week and survived. Turns out her feat--which a local TV station caught on video and was also aired online--wasn't unusual. Cats take the plunge so often that "feline high-rise syndrome" was coined in 1976 to describe survivors' injuries (often a bloody nose and chest or lung trauma). "We have on record cats surviving after falling from 32 stories," says James Richards, director of Cornell University's Feline Health Center. How? A cat instinctively rights itself in midair, then spread-eagles to maximize drag and diffuse the landing impact over...

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