A fascinating video find from the Florida Keys shows a domestic cat defying the odds to narrowly escape an alligator’s jaws of death.

Infrared footage, shot from a camera trap in the National Key Deer Wildlife Refuge, caught the encounter on film. The video shows the feline cautiously tiptoeing towards the outskirts of the camera’s frame, when suddenly leaves rustle and the  alligator — estimated to be  nearly 2 meters long — lunges.

Don’t worry — the cat, however, is a beast with fast-acting reflexes. It gets away in a mad scramble familiar to all cat lovers.

“I love the cameras, because we get to see what the animals are doing when we’re not around,” Alyssa Johnson, who interns at the refuge and installed the remotely operated camera, told Live Science in an interview about the footage.

  • Jade

    That is one lucky kitty; that was a close one. I guess this proves the old adage that cats have nine lives. This little fellow might have just used one up. I love how it goes on full alert when it hears the leaves rustling, and them makes that awesome leap to safety. It’s amazing to see all that goes on with these animals in the middle of the night, and we would never be aware of it were it not for those cameras.

  • Maheni

    Cats are awesome and I have three of them, sometimes they really just shock me with the reflexes they have. Not all animals are that lucky when it comes to these guys either. I doubt most would get away that quick.

  • LittleButterfly

    My sister has a cat, and I can totally picture that little princess doing the exact same thing. They really are amazing little creatures with highly developed senses. I’m glad this little guy (or girl) was able to get away.

  • Jasmine35

    That cat reminds me of something my cat would do. He is the type of cat that thinks he is invincible. I love how in the video, we can see the cat cautiously walking around, like he knows that something is there but he’s just not quite sure what it is. Then he hears the leaves and takes off on a dead run. Good thing cats have lightning fast reflexes.