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Cats and 9 Lives

Written By macky on Saturday, July 7, 2012 | 4:56 AM


Cats having nine lives is one of the more popular references ascribed to cats, with many children getting confused with the nine lives connection.

The title of a hit comic strip cat’s movie The Nine Lives of Fritz The Cat which came out in 1974, the nine lives connection with cats is old, and pinpointing its exact origins is not all that easy.

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However, the reason for the connection is defined by the cat’s natural physical ability to survive certain falls from high places or vantage points, safely landing on their feet as though it was nobody’s business. In fact, a cat has a better chance in falling from a higher place than from falling from a vantage point that isn’t as high.

In the past, a number of New York-based vets managed to collate data involving the number of kitty deaths caused or related to falls from high areas. The results note that 10% of cats falling from 2 to 6 storey buildings had died, while 5% of cats falling from 7 to 32 stories survived, though with injuries.

Physics and the cat’s ability to “umbrella” their fall’s descent is noted to be the reason why such a setup prevails. Since falling bodies accelerate by 22 miles per hour/per second, a higher distance fall allows the cat to curve up in “parachute-like stance”, which enables them to decrease the acceleration of their fall’s speed.

Apart from the cat’s ability to safely land on their feet, a cat getting out of tight spots is also attributed to be the reason for the nine lives adage.

Though the average cat’s lifespan can reach as high as 14 years, with certain records of cats living up to 20+ years, the nine lives of cats can’t be taken literally, but is an attribution that is worthy to be bequeathed to cats, all in all.
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