Falling Felines Research: the history book, successfully crowd-funding now.
If you can’t wait for the book, the author has a long blog post on the topic of lab research on falling cats.
It turns out that that aerodynamics, molecular physics, mathematics, mechanical control systems, and other branches of science and engineering were all strongly informed by the study of tumbling kitties which (of course) always landed on their feet. Perhaps Lovecraft was right (again), when he said that inherent in the very form of the cat lay cosmic secrets, a potent symbolisation of the universe, and that this was “just as true kinetically as statically”.
A quick search of Google Scholar and JURN shows that such research is still ongoing, and that the same science may yet inform the design of human-interacting robots, autonomous drones, space-elevator nano-ribbons, and many other sqwerky uses as yet undreamed. Robo-tentacles, perhaps.