Our heating at the moment is a wood-fired stove/range in the living room. It only needs firing up after dark at this time of year, and makes the place seriously snug. A hotplate is exposed on top but hasn't been a problem, the critters seemed to have sussed it wasn't a good idea to go near it. Until last week, that is, when Neo jumped across from the TV table on to it, and continued in the same direction only much faster out of the way. He was shocked, and scorched his pads, but wasn't limping an hour or two later. I think the extra fur between his toes must have insulated. Must have blistered though, he's now got new pink (rather than black) pads. Primo's now done the same trick, getting out of the way of a lively Basil dog. Poor thing's made a right mess of one set of pads, there's still some skin left but not much. Bandaged it, though he's not too happy about that either. He's limping, obviously painful but hopefully should be ok in a week or so.
File under feline firewalking; rites of passage.[Danny Ayers]