The most notable catch in Saturday’s game between No. 22 the University of Miami and Appalachian State University did not happen on the field. It was not even a football. It was a cat.
The animal somehow found its way into Hard Rock Stadium, and was later caught by one of its paws off the facade of the upper deck in the first quarter.
It eventually fell to the lower level of the stadium, where fans using a US flag as a makeshift net of sorts were able to safely catch it before it was carried off to safety.
“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 Cromer, 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.’”
That is when the Cromers unhooked the flag from the ties they use to keep it on a railing and hoped for the best.
The petrified cat fell, bounced a bit off the flag and eventually was secured by someone in the nearby student section before being brought away by stadium security workers.
Miami coach Manny Diaz said he learned of the cat incident postgame. The Miami Hurricanes held on Saturday, topping 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 being sprayed by the dangling cat, were otherwise fine.
“Strangest thing that’s ever happened at a game,” Kimberly Cromer said.
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