Halloween went from treat to trick fast for Simba.
The Brookline, Massachusetts, cat was inadvertently shut out of his home on Halloween night by a house guest who didn’t realize he had let Simba out on to the apartment’s balcony. Because of the holiday commotion, the Jardus family didn’t realize the cat was missing right away.
Simba at some point fell from or tried to jump down from the balcony, landing on the unforgiving concrete patio on the ground floor a whopping nine stories below. The collision shattered Simba’s jaw and two of his legs. Unfortunately, because Simba’s absence wasn’t noticed right away, the cat stayed splayed on the patio for hours, enduring below-freezing temperatures, until his family found him the next morning.
Heartbroken and deeply worried, Simba’s owner Victoria Jardus rushed the cat to the MSPCA’s Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston for help. Veterinarians at the hospital stabilized Simba and went to work on his numerous injuries.
“Simba was in shock when he first arrived and it’s quite miraculous that he survived at all,” Dr. Virginia Sinnott of Angell’s Emergency & Critical Care Unit said in a statement. “His temperature had dropped to 86 — as opposed to 100, which is the normal body temperature for a cat, and he suffered multiple injuries that could easily have killed him.”
Among those injuries were the broken legs and jaw, as well as a nearly ruptured lung and multiple lacerations.
“Many pets die from falling from windows or patios that are not even half as high,” said Dr. Emily Ulfelder of Angell’s surgery team. “He is so lucky to have landed the way that he did, as the fall alone could easily have killed him. As for surviving a frigid night alone, outside and in such pain, it’s fair to say he used at least one or two of his nine lives!”
It took eight days before Simba was allowed to leave Angell. Now, after going through Thanksgiving in leg splints, Simba is almost fully healed for the holidays. The cat is eating, walking and breathing without issue, and just has a few more check-ups until his recovery is complete.
“We expect him to keep coming back for the next two weeks so we can monitor his progress and ensure he heals as completely as possible,” said Dr. Sinnott.