Humans can be the cruelest of creatures, but sometimes we can be among the most compassionate.
That compassionate side came out on Saturday, the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, at a Miami Hurricanes game of all places.
Craig and Kimberly Cromer are Hurricanes season ticket holders who bring a large US flag to every game, which they’ve been doing for seven years.
Per the Miami Herald:
Early in the second quarter of No. 22 Miami’s home-opener against the Appalachian State Mountaineers, a murmur rose up from the student section at Hard Rock Stadium. The students, many attending their first-ever home game, noticed a cat dangling from the upper deck. The Cromers turned around and first thought it was a dog. Another fan nearby thought it was someone’s kid.
Once the Cromers realized what was happening, they sprung into action. Craig ripped his flag free from his zip-ties, and he and his wife stretched it out to create a landing pad for the terrified cat.
No one’s sure how the cat got into the stadium or ended up on the upper deck railing, but the entire stadium began paying attention when the cat lost its footing, grabbed a wire hanging from the underside and was desperately trying to hold on, its little body dangling precariously.
People seated in the upper deck tried to help, but by that point the black-and-white domestic shorthair was out of reach.
Video of the dramatic incident shows the fearful feline hanging on by its claws. At that point, the entire stadium was invested in the poor kitty’s plight, with thousands of people inhaling nervously as one claw broke away and kitty continued to hold on by a single paw.
The cat had drawn the attention of the game’s announcers as well by that point. There was no way the cat could have known people below were scrambling to break the fall, and kitty inadvertently released droplets of terror pee on the fans in the lower deck.
The Cromers grabbed the flag, “snatched it off the handrail and used it to break the cat’s fall,” Craig Cromer told the Herald.
Catching the little one was “probably the strangest thing that’s happened” to the couple, Kimberly Cromer said.
Footage shows the cat landing on the flag, then quickly tumbling into the section below, eventually ending up in the arms of a kind-looking woman who (we hope) was able to soothe raw nerves.
It was not immediately clear what happened to the cat, but it wasn’t a stray.
“It had a collar so it must be someone’s,” Miami student Dylan Marinov told WPLG, a local news station. Marinov recorded the drama on his smartphone and shared it online.
Hard Rock Stadium’s official Twitter feed said it had made a donation to the Miami Human Society in honor of the kitty’s safe landing, and said stadium staff “wish the cat the best in his remaining eight lives.”