Alexandria cat survives 15-story fall

Alexandria cat survives 15-story fall
Sasha Fierce, an 8-year-old cat, fell from the 15th story of the condo building. (Photo Meagan Wilson)

By Kassidy McDonald

Cats always land on their feet, right? That statement definitely rings true for Meagan Wilson’s 8-year-old cat, Sasha Fierce.

On July 21, sometime between midnight and 5 a.m., the peach-colored domestic long-haired feline fell off the 15th floor condo balcony where she lived. She miraculously survived with minimal injuries for a fall that far.

“It wasn’t warm and fuzzy during the event, but it is now,” Wilson said.

Wilson woke up at 5 a.m. that morning because she was having trouble sleeping. She noticed that her balcony door was not locked all the way, as she was on it earlier that evening. Wilson then noticed her other cat had managed to get outside on the balcony and was pacing back and forth.

She panicked, wondering where Sasha could be. Wilson began checking closets in her condo, bedrooms and even the condo’s hallways. Her toddler was asleep in the next room and Wilson couldn’t leave her sleeping alone if she went downstairs to check outside.

The worst thought crossed her mind. There was no way Sasha could have fallen 15 stories and lived, she presumed. She gave her next-door neighbor Stan Valadzko a call and asked him to go check for her.

Wilson waited in her condo nervously when she got a call from her neighbor. To Wilson’s surprise, Sasha was there – and alive.

“Alive or like half-dead alive with her tongue hanging out?” Wilson asked her neighbor on the phone.

She told him not to pick Sasha up if she was extremely hurt, but he said the cat seemed to be walking. Her neighbor then carried the cat upstairs and gave her to Wilson.

Wilson was shocked to see Sasha walking around when she placed her on her bed. While she called her vet, she said she began to pet Sasha to see if there might be any broken bones on her body. When she grazed over her back, Wilson said Sasha “hissed.” She believed Sasha could be internally bleeding, which would be the worst possible option for her pet.

After dropping her toddler off quickly at daycare, Wilson rushed Sasha to VCA South Paws Veterinary Specialists & Emergency in Fairfax. Sasha was dropped off with the vet staff, and they told Wilson to stay on call for updates about her beloved cat.

Within 15 minutes she received a call back following their initial checkup: the vet had incredibly good news. Staff believed Sasha had some debris stuck in her eye from the fall, either wood or mulch, Wilson said. She was also pretty bruised, but so far they didn’t suspect there were serious complications from the fall.

The vet kept her there for additional x-rays and bloodwork just to make sure there was nothing wrong internally. Wilson said they even had Sasha on oxygen to make sure she was breathing correctly. In the discharge instructions provided to the Times by Wilson, the vet described Sasha’s diagnosis after her fall.

“Hunched in the hind end but walking on all four legs. Surprisingly, no internal trauma to her chest or abdomen or broken bones identified on workup. Corneal foreign body in the left eye – but this was flushed away with eye flush and left only a superficial corneal ulcer. She has done great for us today & I’m thrilled to send her home for continued care, close monitoring and some TLC as she heals from her bumps and bruises. She is one lucky gal!”

Sasha’s diagnosis is truly a miracle, according to the vet, and Wilson expressed deep gratitude. As Sasha recovers at home, she will require some pain medication and eye drops and will visit the vet again in two weeks for a checkup. Wilson said Sasha is relatively “achy” but that her eye “looks a lot better now.”

“My vet said she must have a guardian angel,” Wil- son wrote in her original Face- book post about the incident. “… I’m still in shock. She’s one lucky kitty.”