Fire Retardant Cat

While surfing the Internet last night I came across blogger friend Pat, of Pat’s Pond, sharing a photo of her lovely cat who appears to be putting her tail awfully close to the flame of an Advent candle. Fortunately for the cat it is an electric candle! Seeing this reminds me of my cat Miss Ellie who nearly got herself in flames for Christmas.

It must’ve been 12 or 13 years ago when I lived with my parents in a ranch house in the San Diego area. This home had a fireplace but we rarely used it except for special occasions like Christmas. Miss Ellie was a rather inquisitive young cat and she knew no fear of anything. I don’t think it was exactly Christmas but I know it must’ve been near Christmas when we lit the fireplace for the first time that season. It was an old house and the screen in front of the fireplace was one of those drapery types but it was broken and did not close completely over the front of the fireplace. Dad built a fire in the back of the firebox and we sat there enjoying the glow of the flames.

We didn’t really notice her come into the room, as cats have a way of being stealth, but the next thing we know she was right there on the hearth. We all watched to see what she would do. Closer and closer she went towards the open fireplace. She found a large gap on the side of the screen and stuck her head inside! We all watched in amazement at her daring feat. The firebox was rather large so she was not right on the fire but she had to have been at the most 8 to 10 inches away from the fire. It crackled and popped as fires do and she was not afraid at all. No flames touched her but we were all scolding her for being such a foolish cat and shooed her away from the fireplace.

Miss Ellie’s daring ways never changed and every time we lit a fire in the fireplace she was right there ready to enjoy it with us. I don’t recall her ever sticking her head inside the firebox again, but she did enjoy reclining on the hearth as close to the firebox as she could manage. Another thing she liked to do with fireplaces was to use the ashes left over from the previous night’s fire as a litter box. We would find tiny ashy footprints on the hearth and know that Miss Ellie had been there. She is a great cat!

1 Comment

  1. pb
    Dec 11, 2005

    Patches, the cat in the photo, prefers the table wreath, but our frail, old Lovey sleeps in front of the gas fireplace, where the pilot light maintains a gentle warmth all winter.