Like all cats, Adler loves warmth. When the season started to move from summer (too hot even for a cat) into autumn, we started having the odd fire in our fireplace. With winter rolling in, the fires come almost every morning and every night. I love an open fire – so does Adler.
In autumn I noticed Adler sitting on the brick hearth when the fire was lit – but I think the bricks were just too cold and hard for his taste. I took pity on my cat and folded up some old towels to place on the hard hearth. That was clearly the right thing to do because Adler now spends hours every day on his hearth-bed, sometimes watching the play of light dancing on the logs, sometimes sleeping contentedly.
The first I started to worry about Adler burning down the house, or at least scorching himself, came when I caught him sticking his head behind the wire screen we stand in front of the fire. He’ll drape a paw, then his leg, and even sometimes his head around that screen if he can. I’m now obsessive about putting the screen against the brick edge of the fireplace to protect my cat from his own destructive instincts.
His next bad habit is harder to protect against. He puts his paws on the screen and pushes or climbs or stretches or whatever. I’m not sure if he does that to get closer to the warmth, to play with the flames or to push the darned thing over so he can get at the fire. Once I heard a crash and came running to find the screen lying on top of the burning logs and the cat looking rather relaxed and warm.
So now I worry. I have no plans to stop burning fires or to weld in place a kiddie gate or any other defences – the darned cat is going to have to either be better behaved or learn how to walk on singed paws!