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Beware of Falling Felines
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Who says nothing exciting happens around here?

Our cat fell down the stairs last night. Well, not exactly down the stairs. There's an open railing along the edge of the stairwell and Sabrina, who suffers extreme distress every time I leave the upstairs office, insists on peering over the side. More than once, coming up, I've bumped my head on her overhanging snout. This time she stuck her neck out too far.

While it's gratifying to be missed, I wish she'd be more careful. Seventeen is a pretty good age for a cat, but eighteen or nineteen would be a lot better.

I feel bad leaving her without a lap to occupy for thirty seconds, but I do have to work, and the coffee pot's downstairs.

On my way upstairs, I wasn't paying much attention. I heard Sabrina meowing and pacing, claws clickety-clicking on the floor boards, but she always does that. I saw a whiskery little face poking over the edge. Nothing out of the ordinary there.

Then, as I passed her and approached the top of the stairs I heard frantic scratching followed by a thump. When I turned around she was sitting on the next to last step. She must have fallen most of the way from the second floor to the first.

Will she learn a lesson? Do cats remember things like that? Can they grasp the cause and effect sufficiently to be more cautious in the future?

Maybe scrabbling at the wall reduced her speed a bit because she appeared to be fine, if disgruntled and bemused. Or maybe she owed her survival to the fabled ability of cats to land on their paws. Rather like the way toast always lands buttered side down. I wonder what would happen if you tied a piece of toast, butter side up, to a cat's back and tossed it off the table?

Not that I would do that to Sabrina. But sometimes I am tempted.

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