It had all the makings of the best action movies—a hero literally dangling from a literal cliff (of sorts), an excruciatingly long moment of uncertainty, an enraptured public squealing as they watched through their eyes.
That was the scene that unfolded at Saturday's game between the University of Miami Hurricanes and the Appalachian State Mountaineers when a cat somehow got loose in the stadium, leading to what must be the most viral moment in college football in years.
See the video below.
No one is quite sure how the feline ended up in Miami's Hard Rock Stadium, but he quickly ended up in a sticky situation after he shimmied under the wall of the upper deck and nearly fell over the edge.
Spectators tried in vain to get him to safety, and he soon indeed fell over the edge but caught himself on a rope that was part of a banner spread across the front of the deck.
As the poor kitty dangled in midair, first by both paws and then by just one, spectators again tried to grab him but he was just too far out of reach. Screams could be heard from the crowd watching on tenterhooks as the cat clearly struggled to maintain his grip.
Down below, a group of guys quickly assembled with an American flag in which to catch the cat if he fell. And indeed he did fall--right into the flag which, while it didn't quite catch him, surely cushioned his fall to the ground. The spectators were then able to catch him, holding him up unscathed like Simba in The Lion King as the crowd roared with relieved enthusiasm.
Name the last time a football game had this kind of intrigue and suspense!
Naturally, Twitter went wild over this near cat-astrophe (sorry).
Football fans catch a falling cat in a US flag on 9/11 and this must have been directed by Jerry Bruckheimer. https://t.co/dGigsAi2BA— Christian Christensen (@Christian Christensen) 1631499207.0
This cat has 8 lives left. From U of Miami football game today. Incredible. https://t.co/6Amx0dLBu4— Don Lewis (@Don Lewis) 1631421953.0
College football has had a falling cat and a woman giving birth in a stadium today. You won’t find this in the NFL. https://t.co/OPHOOyLQgq— Chris Vannini (@Chris Vannini) 1631416816.0
So a cat just fell from the upper deck of Hard Rock Stadium. Caught in an American flag by fans below. Omg… https://t.co/G7RwXw0p4T— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@Rex Chapman🏇🏼) 1631405309.0
I don’t believe my own eyes. A cat just fell from the upper level at Hard Rock Stadium and those fans caught it wit… https://t.co/ZJvxCKtAPN— x - Ethan (@x - Ethan) 1631403875.0
But not everyone was quite as enthused--some were deeply worried for the cat's safety.
@HardRockStadium @humanemiami We need to know! Is the cat being cared for after being so stressed? Is it safe, fed and loved?— Emma-May (@Emma-May) 1631421173.0
@HardRockStadium @DannyWQAM @humanemiami What happened with the cat? Did someone take it with them? Did y’all keep… https://t.co/0R74CR7ccL— Rose ‘Blaidd Drwg’ Tyler (@Rose ‘Blaidd Drwg’ Tyler) 1631412448.0
@HardRockStadium @humanemiami hows the cat doing now? where is the cat lol. does he live around or in the stadium.… https://t.co/JoQK8JdmIa— kernyboydraws (@kernyboydraws) 1631465644.0
Via its Twitter account, the Hard Rock Stadium confirmed that the cat landed unscathed, and wished him "the best in his remaining eight lives." Hear hear!