Some places are not just cat-proof.

Cat Scratch Fever

Sometime in the wee hours this past Sunday, a cat exploring a metal plating factory in Japan slipped and fell into a vat of caustic, cancer-causing liquid — but managed to escape, leaving paw prints on the floor.

Now, local officials in Fukuyama are warning residents: if you see a "cat that seems abnormal," do not touch the feline because it's covered in dangerous chemicals, the BBC reports.

The incident was discovered on Monday morning, according to NBC News, when employees at the Nomura Plating Fukuyama Factory saw yellow-brown paw prints leading away from a vat filled with hexavalent chromium, an industrial chemical that can damage your skin, respiratory system, and inner organs if you are exposed to it.

On surveillance footage, workers saw a cat leaving the factory on Sunday night, prompting environmental officials to issue warnings to residents to not approach the cat.

Instead of doing some citizen cat wrangling, officials told concerned residents to contact the city administration or local police if they see the unfortunate kitty.

Nine Lives

After discovering the cat vat incident, factory officials covered up the vessel with plastic and a company spokesperson said that they'll take future precautions to prevent a similar event.

"The incident woke us up to the need to take measures to prevent small animals like cats from sneaking in, which is something we had never anticipated before," the spokesperson told Agence France-Presse, as reported by NBC.

The chemical in question, hexavalent chromium, is used to harden alloy steel and make it less prone to corrosion. It's extremely toxic and requires workers to don personal protection equipment while handling it.

Knowing the dangerous nature of the chemical leads us to a logical question: is the cat still alive? Nobody has seen the cat since the discovery of the incident, so it's possible that the feline could have died from chemical exposure.

For the more optimistic among us, here's hoping that curiosity has not killed the cat, and our little feline friend has eight more lives up its sleeve.

More on cats: Scientists Discover That Cats Simply Do Not Give a Crap

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