It was hot in my apartment on the night of May 1, 1997, so I opened the sliding glass door and shut the screen door to let some air in. The screen door has a latch, but it doesn't properly lock no matter what I do.
I was in my room, when suddenly I realized I hadn't heard from Jane for some time. I knew she could open the screen door, and since I hadn't been paying attention to her, I thought that she probably had found her way outside.
I looked up, and saw the screen door -- now open, about the width of a small cat. I turned on the light to the balcony and went outside to see if I could pick her up before she invaded my neighbour's balcony, as she loves to do (in part, I'm sure, so I can't bring her back in before she's ready).
There is a lot of junk on my balcony, and I guess she was under some of it. She heard me clattering around out there, and I don't know if she thought I was something scary, or if she knew it was me and decided that she wasn't ready to come in, but essentially, she decided she needed to get on the railing in a hurry -- probably to go over to the neighbour's side.
She emerged from the junk, jumped up onto some boxes, leapt onto the balcony, and couldn't stop, so she leapt -- literally leapt -- off the balcony, with all her might, a beautiful majestic streak into the night. I live on the second floor. Luckily, she cleared the cement sidewalk, and landed in the bushes.
I was panicked -- fearful, yet for a brief instant, strangely proud. I looked down and saw her running as fast as I've ever seen her, to the stairs. She darted up the stairs, so I went to the front door, opened it, and she came in.
Her tail was much more poofy than normal for a while. I examined her looking for puncture wounds, broken bones or torn tendons, but besides being very shaken up, she seemed absolutely fine.
Mind you, it wasn't the first time she had disappeared from the balcony. One other time, she was missing, I couldn't find her inside or on the balcony. I was very worried that she had fallen off the balcony, and was in the bushes or down on the sidewalk limping around, so I ran to the door with the intent to race down and start searching for her. I opened the door, and she came in. In a rather casual way too, I might add.
She's quite a little pinhead sometimes.