Fans catch falling cat with American flag during Miami-Appalachian State game

·2 min read

The play of the day may not have been on a football field Saturday.

A stray cat at a college game used at least one of its nine lives as it fell several levels at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.

During the first quarter of Miami's game against Appalachian State, video captured the feline as it struggled, dangling, two paws, then one paw caught on a wire hanging just below the upper deck railing of the stadium.

The cat's fall was broken by an American flag, held aloft by some quick-thinking fans.

“They were trying to grab it from above and they couldn’t reach it but they were scaring it downward,” said Craig Cromer, a facilities manager at the University of Miami and season-ticket holder who with his wife Kimberly brings the flag to each home game. “It hung there for a little while with its two front paws, then one paw, then I was like, ‘Oh my goodness, it’s coming soon.’ ”

The cat bounced a bit off the flag, then was scooped up by some in the nearby student section. The crowd went wild at the rescue before stadium security workers retrieved the cat and whisked it away.

It's not clear from the video whether the cat hit the stadium surface before fans lifted the black-and-white feline – which understandably was trying to claw its way to freedom.

Miami coach Manny Diaz said he learned of the incident after the Hurricanes topped Appalachian State, 25-23.

“I don’t know anything about that or what was going on,” Diaz said. “But I’ll tell you, if the cat will help us in our red-zone offense I’m going to see if we can give it a scholarship.”

The cat was not showing any signs of injury. The Cromers, other than a spilled beverage and getting sprayed by the dangling cat, were otherwise fine.

“Strangest thing that’s ever happened at a game,” Kimberly Cromer said.

Contributing: The Associated Press

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fans catch falling cat with American flag at college football game