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Cat that jumped from 5th-floor balcony to escape blaze adopted by Edmonton fire dispatcher

Click to play video: 'Cat survives downtown Edmonton fire by jumping from 5th-floor balcony'
Cat survives downtown Edmonton fire by jumping from 5th-floor balcony
WATCH ABOVE (April 2024): A cat jumped from an apartment balcony to escape a fire. – Apr 26, 2024

After spending a couple of months in foster care, a house cat that escaped a downtown Edmonton high-rise fire earlier this year by leaping from a fifth-storey balcony has found his forever home. And the adoption story really has come full circle.

On April 25, a fire broke out at the Harwood Plaza apartment building on Jasper Avenue near 110th Street. Flames and black smoke were shooting from a fifth-floor unit, as firefighters in a ladder truck rescued a man from the burning balcony.

While this was going on, video captured at the scene showed a cat jumping from the balcony to escape the blaze.

The feline was found the next day, largely unscathed from serious injury.

“He had muscle soreness, so he couldn’t sit properly for a little bit. He was very afraid of floors, so you’d have to put carpet or he would jump from couch to couch. We’re not 100 per cent sure why he was scared of the floors — he wasn’t before — so potentially something to do with the fire,” said Melissa Polnik, president and founder of Through Your Pets Eyes Animal Rescue.

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“He lost his whiskers and he had some bits of hair missing.”

Polnik said the tabby cat — aptly named Jasper — originally came into the rescue’s care last November when he was four months old, and was adopted out to the man who lived in the Jasper Ave apartment. After the fire, Polnik said Jasper’s owner wasn’t able to take him back, so the animal came back into her care.

“He was in two really awesome foster homes. They made it easy for him. They put mats down, rugs, and let him jump from place to place. They fed him up in the cat tree so he didn’t have to worry about going down to the floor and then he slowly got used to the floor again,” Polnik explained.

Once he was ready to be adopted out, the animal rescue began looking for a home for Jasper and just so happened to get the perfect applicant.

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“We had an application from a lady who was actually the dispatcher that dispatched the fire on the day of the fire downtown and that was the application we went with,” Polnik said.

“She met all the criteria we needed and she ended up adopting him and kept his name.”

On Tuesday, Edmonton Fire Rescue Services shared on social media that the cat was adopted by one of its dispatchers.

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Polnik said Jasper is doing really well in his new home with his new owner, and he’s back walking on the floor without issue.

“It’s very exciting. Cats have nine lives and he’s used up probably two now. So I’m really happy that he found a good home and it was really nice that it kind of all worked back into somebody who initially rescued him,” Polnik said.

“He’s doing really great. We’ve had no issues with the adopter. She’s had no concerns. There’s some pictures of him enjoying his new life.”

Jasper the tabby cat enjoying his new home, months after jumping from a fifth-storey balcony to escape an apartment fire. Courtesy / Through Your Pets Eyes Animal Rescue
Jasper the tabby cat enjoying his new home, months after jumping from a fifth-storey balcony to escape an apartment fire. Courtesy / Through Your Pets Eyes Animal Rescue
Jasper the tabby cat enjoying his new home, months after jumping from a fifth-storey balcony to escape an apartment fire. Courtesy / Through Your Pets Eyes Animal Rescue
Jasper the tabby cat enjoying his new home, months after jumping from a fifth-storey balcony to escape an apartment fire. Courtesy / Through Your Pets Eyes Animal Rescue
Jasper the tabby cat enjoying his new home, months after jumping from a fifth-storey balcony to escape an apartment fire. Courtesy / Through Your Pets Eyes Animal Rescue

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