Rather than the typical huge cylinder water heaters people have on the outside, our water heaters here are on-demand. It's a little wall-mounted box in the bathroom with a pilot light (connected to a propane tank) that clicks on whenever someone turns a hot water faucet. For Pan, who had already explored every nook and cranny of our cabin, it was the final frontier, and a challenge.
When I came back to the cabin at noon for my lunch break, Pan was sitting on the kitchen counter as usual, but he looked...different. Tired and bedraggled, and he didn't saunter over to say hello. After getting a closer look, I saw that his nose was bloody and he was wet all down his front. Furthermore, the corner of the bathroom where the water heater was was completely spattered in blood, and the exhaust pipes that vent out through the ceiling had been pulled down.
I called for Tyler immediately, and then we called for Holly (who is not a vet, but is a talented wildlife biologist, does necropsies, and has had many pets in the wilderness). Between the three of us, we established the following.
1. Pan was missing both of his two upper canines.
2. One of his hind toes is sticking out at a funny angle and only seems to be attached by soft tissue. There's also a big gash in that paw.
From the evidence around us, we think Pan must have jumped from the sink to the top of the water heater, and on his way back down (possibly spooked by the exhaust pipes if he knocked them down then), snagged a single toe on the lip of the box and ended up hanging upside-down. In his frenzy to get unstuck, he got his teeth snagged in the top of our sponge mop that was leaning in the corner...huge chunks of the sponge were torn loose, and the whole thing was soaked in blood. There was blood all over the walls, blood pooled on the plastic tub underneath, blood on the floor, cat fur everywhere. The whole bathroom just reeked of blood. I didn't realize how strongly blood smells in a confined area.
We couldn't reach the Cascade vet, but we called Arnold Aviation and they were able to pick Tyler and Pan up on an outgoing run just 30 minutes ago. Hopefully, they'll get to the vet before he closes tonight. I don't have much hope for his teeth (we did find them), and I'm betting he'll lose that toe. I also think he'll need some stiches in that foot, and maybe an IV, considering how much blood he lost.
I'm worried for my kitty.