Never underestimate how much trouble an intelligent cat with opposable dew claws and no common sense can get into.
In summary: Stephen opens cupboards. He managed to open the boiler cupboard and fell down behind the immersion heater. He was trapped upside down between the water tank and the wall. I couldn’t get him out, or get through the side of the cupboard, and the tank is part of the house and not moveable.
With the aid of a towel, an axe, and much scrabbling he is now out, but he was there for half an hour to an hour, and is being watched closely. He’d overheated so I kept soaking my hands and stroking him since he objected to a wet towel, and it seems to have done the trick. We phoned the vet, who advised us not to traumatise him further by bringing him in (it’s a long way) until tomorrow unless certain symptoms show.
He’s finally stopped panting and had wet food and lots of water, but he’s torn up his paws and terrified himself. I think we both had a nasty shock.
His other owner came back from work as soon as he heard, but got back only in time to phone the vet and confirm what I had been told.
I’m posting about this now because it happened Friday afternoon, and hopefully he’s now out of danger.
He’s also trying to get into the boiler cupboard again. We’re fitting deadbolts this morning.
(The fun bit was the DIY shop, where the lady sees all the locks and asks if you’re childproofing the house, and you have to respond “No. Cat-proofing.” I think she thought I was mad.)