Owner suspects her cat set fire to her home. True?

This is a ridiculous story. It is a UK cat news story. A women says that her cat, Bubba, sleeps on the kitchen counter. I suppose that is possible but unlikely if her cat sleeps next to the electric hob, which is exactly what she claims. Why does Bubba sleep in that particular spot of all places in a home? It must be dangerous. (note for Americans: and electric hob is the four electric rings on a cooker)

She says her cat had an epileptic fit while sleeping next to the hob. Bubba’s legs shot out and turned on the electric hob, she claims. You can’t turn on electric cookers that easily. You have to depress the knob that turns on the power. You cannot simply push a lever as this woman describes. If you could it make the cooker unsafe.

Then she says there was a wooden board next to the hob which caught fire. How can that be the case when the cat is next to the electric cooker? If the wooden board was on the other side of the cooker it would too far from the electric ring to catch alight. Even being next to the ring (but not on it) it seems highly implausible that a wooden board would catch alight.

The burning wooden board started a fire in the kitchen and the kitchen was “gutted”. Although, in fact, the kitchen is not actually gutted. The intention may have been to have it gutted…I’ll say no more.

The cat’s owner says that “Epilepsy is a lot more common in cats than you would think”.

I don’t believe that statement is true. I think it is an attempt to justify what happened. Epilepsy is rare in cats in far as I am concerned.

The final touch to this unbelievable story is that the woman says she forgot to change the battery in the smoke alarm.

The fire chief says he is not treating the blaze as suspicious. I would! This poor cat is being blamed, I say, for something of which he has no knowledge. Bubba was across the road on a fence at the time of the fire.

This is the original story.

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About Michael Broad

Michael is retired! He retired at age 57 and at Aug 2018 is approaching 70. He worked in many jobs. The last job he did was as a solicitor practicing general law. He loves animals and is passionate about animal welfare. He also loves photography and nature. He hates animal abuse. He has owned and managed this site since 2007. There are around 13k pages so please use the custom search facility!


Owner suspects her cat set fire to her home. True? — 10 Comments

  1. This screams out to me INSURANCE SCAM.
    Why would anyone let a cat sleep by a cooker which could be so easily turned on?

  2. Pingback: The Cat is Unfairly Blamed for Many Things | Pictures of Cats

  3. PS. I think that an experienced investigator would have found that the lady’s explanation did not hold up, but such a small incident was not worth investigating.

  4. I had a similar experience when I was living in Costa Rica, only that my electric stove did not have that safety feature of having to press-in the control knob before it could be turned on. My cat Eccles did turn it on but of course I had nothing inflammable near or on the ring.

  5. Sounds like a last ditch desperate drive for an insurance claim. Or something. I have never seen a cooker you can just switch on without there being some kind of child proof or otherwise safety mechanism on the knobs. It seems almost impossible that her cat could have pulled this amazing feat off.

    • Sounds like a last ditch desperate drive for an insurance claim.

      I am pleased that you think like me. The story just seems contrived and I would be surprised if the insurer pays but perhaps they have to now because the fire department have said it was accidental.

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