Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Cat- astrophe

I was reading Karla's blog about her cat running through the tray of wet paint, and that reminded me of the snowy morning we had a cat-astrophe at our house and I knew I just had to make some time to tell you this snowy story on this hot humid summer day.

When AC was teaching, it was a real joy to roll over on a tired winter morning and hear the radio announcer give us the news that a terrible snow storm had hit the city, the school buses were cancelled and schools were closed for the day. Oh the sheer joy of a snow day at our house. A gift of unexpected free time dropped into our laps during a busy school term was delicious indeed. The sheer luxury of snuggling down deeper under the covers instead of trudging outside into the cold snowy morning was rich beyond words.

On this particular morning the reports were of a storm so terrible we just had to get up and look out the window to see what was going on. Yessirree, we were socked in but good, and the snow was still coming down thick and steady. How neat. I love a good storm. Once out of bed, we decided to stay up and head down to the family room and watch the storm for awhile. We turned the fireplace on in the family room to make that area all toasty warm while I made a big pot of coffee, and some hot buttered bagels. It was still rather dark outside, but rather than turn the lights on in the family room I lit a candle on the coffee table and thought that it and the glow from the fire would give us just enough light to sit comfortably and munch our breakfast while we watched the storm. MMMM, now this was the way to spend a snowy morning.

Just as we reclined back into our Lazyboy chairs with our hot coffee and bagels, Scutter, our long haired Persian cat (note how long and fluffy his tail is in this picture of him in the garden) came out of the den and looked at us in a puzzled way. He seemed to be asking us what the heck we were doing, sitting in the family room at this hour on a school day of all days. Didn't we know that he was trying to sleep and we were disturbing him? We ignored him and chatted on about how much fun it was to start the morning like this and how great retirement the next year would be.

Just at that point, Scutter jumped up on the coffee table and…..yes….. walked past the candle I had lit earlier. His tail brushed past the flame and he went up like dry tinder. Puff, and his tail was in flames. Holy kittens Batman, the pussy cat's on fire!!!!!! His hair was so long, he didn't know he was on fire though, so he just sat there looking at us. Yikes! As AC and I both lunged for him, our quick movements startled him and he turned to run. We grabbed him just as he was about to jump off the table and hightail it (or maybe I should say "firetail" it) outta there. Can you even imagine the damage a flaming cat running through the house could cause?

Luckily, we caught him in the nick of time and thumped him and bumped him and thwaped him to put his flaming tail out. He looked at us in astonishment as we beat on him and wondered what the heck he had done to deserve such treatment. It seemed to take forever to reach him, but in reality it all happened in a matter of seconds, and we managed to "put him out" before the flames reached his skin. Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "Did you put the cat out?" doesn't it? Anyway, he was pretty bedraggled and singed looking, but no major harm was done to him or the house, thank goodness. It could have been much worse. Oh, so much worse. Can you even imagine it? I shudder to think of it.

We laugh about it now, but that morning it was a tad scary. Here we were reclining back in our chairs with hot coffee in our hands and we had to get rid of the coffee, get out of the chairs, (no easy thing when your feet are elevated on those foot rests), and grab the flaming cat!!!!!! I still don't know how we did it, but we managed it and Scutter and the house were saved. I didn't light a candle after that until I had bought hurricane covers for every candle in the house and even then I didn't want to light a candle with a cat anywhere near it.

On one last note, do you have you any idea how awful burning cat hair smells? Terrible! Absolutely terrible!

All's well that ends well, and this cat-astrophe ended well. Thank goodness.

Thanks for bringing that story back to my mind Karla. It was fun to remember that snowy morning during this summer heat wave.

There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life; music and cats." Albert Schweitzer


karla said...

Oh my goodness Cuppa, that was gut-busting funny. I just about choked on my coffee trying to imagine what poor Scutter's must have been thinking as you and AC tried to thump and bump out the flames. Too funny!

Thanks for sharing this story. It was such a hoot. I'm really going to need to think twice about burning tealights on the coffee table now. One of my cats likes to hop around up there and even try to sniff the flame...I'll consider myself warned!

Have a great sunshiny day.

(p.s. Scutter's is absolutely gorgeous!!)

Lynn said...

"Did you put the cat out?"

Very funny.

Heather Plett said...

Yikes! When we were kids, we used to light cat-tails on fire and use them as torches, but those were the cat-tails that grow in the ditches, not the kind that are attached to cats!

Melodee said...

Hilarious (and well-told) story!

methatiam said...

We had a cat that took a nap in a neighbor’s car, on top of the engine. We didn't find out until the car started.
He was fine, but the fan quite literally shaved his entire side from leg to leg - right to the skin.
He found a new favorite napping place after that.

Gina said...

Thanks Cuppa, that was great.

It put a much-needed smile on my face! :)

Iona said...

Wow, that was a great story. Thanks for sharing. I laughed my head off!

On a serious note... poor Scutter! I'll definitely remember your story next time I light a candle. Our Aino could definitely catch fire too!

Hey, did Scutter ever think of starting his own blog? He certainly has some stories to tell!