Oh geeze, I get heart palpitations just reading stuff like this! 8-O I'm so glad Gizmo was okay! I've seen way too many cats balanced precariously on apartment balcony railings, and it makes me feel so anxious! It's hard to tell from the article, but it sounds as though Gizmo's owner didn't expect to find Gizmo on the balcony, much less under it, so I'm hoping the door just got left open accidentally or something. I know of too many actual instances in which cats have fallen from balconies. I've talked to people who've said things like "Oh, my cat's not stupid enough to fall from there", or "He just likes to sit up there to watch birds", and every time I hear those sorts of things I just want to haul off and punch the person for being such an ignorant moron!
It sounds to me like the owner lets him go out and sit on the balcony, probably figuring, like dt8thd said, that there was no way the cat was going to try to jump off. If that's true, then he's an idiot, and I hope he gets that feedback from people who know him. Or that this teaches him not to let the cat out there!
Poor kitty - I wonder how long he'd been stuck on that landing?!
Cuchi cries bitterly every time I hang the laundry because I won't let him throw himself out the window. Sometimes I let him sit on the window sill with me holding him securely for a few seconds to calm him down, but then he tries to bite my hands to make me release him. I can't wait for him to grow up and become a couch potato like my grumpy girls. I'm too old for kittens and my heart is not strong enough.