In the latter part of 1880, at a time when the Washington monument had reached a height of 160 feet, an adventurous and patriotic cat ascended the interior of the shaft by means of the ropes and tubing.
When the workmen arrived at the upper landing the next morning, and began to prepare for the day’s work, pussy took fright and, springing to the outer edge, took a “header” of 160 feet to the hard earth below. In the descent which was watched closely by two score of men, the cat spread herself out like a flying squirrel and alighted on all fours. After turning over on the ground a few times in a dazed manner, she prepared to leave the grounds and had gotten almost beyond the shadow of the monument, when a dog belonging to one of the workmen pounced upon her and killed her, she, of course, not being in her best running trim, after performing such an extraordinary feat. One of the men procured the body of the dead feline, smoothed out her silky coat, and turned the remains over to a representative of the Smithsonian Institution, who mounted the skin and placed it under a glass case. The label on the case tells this wonderful story in a few words: “This cat on September 23, 1880, jumped from the top of Washington’s monument and lived.