The owner of this flying black cat that is now the subject of a search in Chicago in the United States after he lept from a fifth-floor window of a burning building is hoping he will still be found after he ran off after crashing to the ground.
Local charity PAWS have offered the cat free treatment if needed, and his owner Leticia Brown who lost her apartment and earlier in the year lost her boyfriend as well after he died said her cat was all she now had left.
The incident involving the cat named Hennessy, that had spent his life in the apartment and had never been outside until he launched himself from the window to escape the blaze, was filmed in the neighbourhood of Englewood in the city of Chicago in the US state of Illinois.
The footage was shared on Twitter by the fire brigade on 13th May where it promptly went viral with 1.1 million views.
Chicago Fire Media posted the video on Twitter with the message: “Nine lives for a cat that jumped from the fire at 65th and Lowe. Cat hit grass bounced and walked away!”
However, the ‘flying feline’ has been missing ever since and a search has been launched to find him after his owner Leticia said he never ventured outside, and stayed in the flat all of his life since he was a kitten.
She said she was desperate to find the cat which had been her constant companion over a tough year in which she also lost her boyfriend and now her apartment after leaving briefly to run an errand, and returning to find it in flames.
The director of the Chicago Fire Department, Larry Langford, who filmed the moment Hennessy leapt from the burning building, landed on its paws, and ran off, said local residents were out in force looking for the cat.
He posted a message saying: “Cat update. Hennessy the flying cat has not returned home yet. Neighbours near 65th and Lowe are out looking for the now-famous feline. His owner says he is a house cat that did not go out. We will update if he is located.(Langford).”
Online commentators have also been offering advice on how to find the cat, such as Twitter user @vsxs who wrote: “Leave the cat box outside, they can smell from far away, it will help him get home. They also tend to ask/meow for help around sunset.”
And @danecayco suggested looking in trees and bushes saying: “The cat could even climb up a tree or thick bushes. Calling may not be successful as many cats don’t meow loudly, especially an injured or a shocked cat. Use a strong searchlight after dark.”
According to the fire brigade, the director was filming the burning building while his team were extinguishing the blaze.
In the viral footage, onlookers are heard screaming as the cat drops from the sky and somehow clears the boundary wall, landing on all four paws on a grass verge on the other side.
However, with their hearts in their mouths, they were soon relieved to see it run off apparently unharmed. However, nobody was able to catch the terrified feline and it is still missing after disappearing into the city.
The fire department added that firefighters extinguished the flames in less than 15 minutes.
The director said that firefighters tried to get to the cat before it jumped, but it ran towards the flames and eventually made its own unorthodox way out of the window.
The search is ongoing and the Chicago Fire Department said they will keep everyone updated on its progress.
Twitter user ‘Peter Nosko’ commented: “What incredible accuracy in clearing that wall and hitting the narrow grassy area!”
Netizen ‘Gregory Lammers’ said: “Amazing! He first had to judge how far he’d have to leap forward to clear the wall that is NOT close to the building and land on the strip of grass.”
‘Evan’ wondered: “Am I crazy or does it sound like it meowed before jumping?”