Maggie Wilson Author

Historical Non-Fiction in Northern Ontario

Mosty Toasty Redux

What is it with cats?  Cats and woodstoves, to be more precise.  Driving me crazy, these critters!

We are in the grips of another polar vortex (oooh, drama! Thanks weather network!) and the winds are blowing their brains out.  I’ve got the woodstove all fired up.  We have central heat, but on days like this, it runs non-stop.  Besides, I like the pioneer woman conceit.  As in, “Honey, can you make sure that there’s enough kindling?”

The neighbour’s cat, Keira drops by now and again.  She helps herself to a snack, hisses at our cat Oscar, and then heads back outside.  Today I thought she should stay inside a bit longer.  NEXT thing I know, there she is, beHIND the woodstove, her head underNEATH it and growling at Oscar who is sitting a meter or so away all “Huh? What?”

This is not the first time this has happened, so maybe there’s something about thermal-dynamics that eludes me.  Our good ol’ boy Joey, in his declining years spent every waking, sleeping hour in front of the stove when it was lit.  And more than once I had to barricade his way to crawling underneath it!  I miss my Joe. 

Tell  me, am I mistaken?  That close to a stove cannot be good for them, am I right? Or am I over-protective?

joey (june 21-07)

Hanging out with Joe in warmer days. 2007

Categories: Weather Related

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14 replies

  1. The older and more experienced a cat gets the more territorial it is. They have a body temp of 102 F and like it warm. They won’t eat high temp foods, waiting for it to cool. So you need’t worry about a cat endangering itself with a stove, like a kid they’ll only get burnt once..

    Last winter my old cat Stumpy almost made it to his 20th birthday, spending the last few months of his life in front of the fire feature. ( I’m told that an enclosed gas fire is NOT a fireplace!!!). Although I miss him the little bugger has reached out from the grave and increased my gas bill!!!. So far this year I have overpaid about $500. on the monthly installments based on Stumpy’s usage!!!l


  2. Ah, sorry to hear about Stumpy, Rob! That’s funny about the gas bill. Well, I’m sure YOU don’t think it’s funny, but still! Our Joe was just over 19 years old. Reiner had installed a heat lamp for him when wood burning season had past. Can’t say that I noticed any difference in hydro usage, but this year might be different. We have two “garage” cats – Jimmy D and Mr. Black Cat. Reiner has set up little apartments for each of them, fully equipped with heat lamps and room service.


  3. Elderly animals, you’ve got to love ’em! We had a collie whose beautiful feathery tail used to turn into a piece of string every winter because the hair got singed from the fire. But he didn’t care as long as his butt was cosy.


    • Thanks for the comment. I have this suspicion that they know that it’s hazardous and wouldn’t get any closer than what’s good for them. But my heart jumps every time!


      • I know how you feel. I’ve just recently become a cat mom and I am terrified they will step on the electric cooker or sniff the kettle at the wrong moment. But on the bright side, it is a good excuse to order pizza instead.


  4. Mags — Love the cat story; inspires me to tell my own… not here; you know, in a future post!

    The cats I care for (they’re not mine; long story) also love our “fire feature” (in deference to Rob), but I am oh so careful to close it back up after using it, otherwise they ALSO love playing in the “fake” — but real enough to cause a damn mess — ashes.


    (PS I swear to you on a stack of bibles that I had NOT read this post yet when I titled my post which is being published… oh, right about now.)


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