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7-month-old kitten a 'little miracle' after falling 13 stories

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A 7-month-old kitten is being called a "little miracle" after surviving a fall from a 13 stories in Minneapolis.

Julie Syverson, the lead surgical veterinary technician at BluePearl Veterinary Partners in Eden Prairie said the kitten, named Brennan, is recuperating, "acting like nothing much happened to him," a news release says.

The kitten apparently fell after pushing through a flaw in the screen of a window in the 17th-story apartment and fell, landing on the fourth floor.

Brennan's owner, John Knuf, was grocery shopping Feb. 5 when the kitten fell. He had to climb onto a ledge on the fifth story of the building to rescue the kitten.

"He's my little man. He wasn't moving at first, but when I picked him up he started crying," Knuf said in the release.

The kitten had surgery on Wednesday to repair a dislocated hip and broken shoulder, and now Brennan is "doing great."

High-rise syndrome

It's not uncommon for cats to fall out of windows, BluePearl veterinarian Dr. Andrew Jackson says.

The phenomenon is called high-rise syndrome, dubbed by the Animal Medical Center (AMC) in the 1980s, the organization said on its website.

Over a five-month period, the AMC in New York treated 132 cats that had fallen out of buildings – 90 percent of them survived.

Felines don't jump from that high up, they usually fall. Because cats can become so focused on things, like a bird or another animal, they can be distracted and lose their balance and fall, according to WebMD.

Jackson says Brennan is lucky to have fallen from so high up. Studies show cats suffer more severe injuries if they fall between two and seven stories, compared to falls from higher.

It's because when cats stop accelerating, they no longer sense they're falling and relax, which helps their bodies better absorb the impact, causing less injuries, the release says. The BBC explains more about this here.

BluePearl provided some tips to help prevent curious cats from falling out of windows, including making sure screens are secured with screen guards, keeping patio furniture away from balcony railings, and not leaving pets on balconies unattended.

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