— Plummeting 80 feet from a tree might have cost Fortunate the cat one of her nine lives but, other than a couple of pulled muscles, a possible parasitic infection and lots of pent-up stress, veterinarians at the Marion Animal Hospital said Wednesday she was doing just fine.
"I don't see anything wrong with this cat; it's unbelievable," veterinarian Dr. Rachel Francis said as she prodded every inch of the feisty feline. The cat, which evaded four rescue attempts earlier this week, tried three times to flee the exam room, once breaking out of the room and running down the hall, where a technician cornered her.
"She's certainly a survivor," Francis said.
It's All About the Animals pet shelter founder Pam Robinson found Fortunate — a temporary name until someone adopts her — on New Year's Day in a trap she set the day before to catch the poor puss.
The cat had vanished into the brush after falling out of a tree off Mary's Pond Road in Rochester Sunday night when Marion firefighters cut the branch she had perched on for eight days.
Sunday night's attempt came after three other unsuccessful tries to recover the cat by the Rochester Fire Department and local tree services.
"She's not bad compared to how long she was out there," Robinson said, referring to Fortunate's condition.
No one has stepped up to claim the black, brown and white kitty but Robinson and Francis said there is little doubt Fortunate belonged to someone.
"Feral cats are cats that have been out in the wild; they don't act like this," Francis said as Fortunate nuzzled anyone who came close enough to the examination table.
Francis pegged Fortunate's age at two years due to her lack of broken teeth and prescribed two weeks of isolation — in case she's sick and contagious to other cats — and plenty of vitamins for the underweight kitty. Francis also said Fortunate is likely spayed but decided not to check for sure because that would involve shaving the cat's stomach and stressing her out even more.
As for how she survived an 80-foot fall, Francis chalked it up to "high-rise syndrome," a phenomenon in which cats falling from more than six stories have higher survival rates than those falling from two to five stories. Falling farther gives the cat time to right itself and land on its feet,
Robinson, sporting her usual "Rescue a Friend" T-shirt, said she intends to keep Fortunate for at least six weeks to recover and regain weight before allowing anyone to adopt the cat.
But Robinson is not giving Fortunate away to just anyone. Interested families will need to submit an essay on why they should be able to take Fortunate home with them. Children interested in giving Fortunate a permanent name can also write to Robinson with their ideas.
Anyone interested in adopting Fortunate can write to It's All About the Animals at 103 Marion Road, Rochester, MA 02770.source