• Annmarie Throckmorton, M.A.

My Pets Set Fire In My House

My dog and cat set fire in the old house that I was renting in Assumption, Illinois in 1999. Frightening! I came inside from working in the yard and found my house filled with thick, black smoke. I ran from room to room looking for the source of the fire. This old house had no basement, no attic, and everything seemed free and clear of fire so where were the clouds of acrid smoke that filled it from floor to ceiling coming from? I ran through the house a second time, noting that my dog and cat were sitting together watching me run about but they too frightened to move. Then I saw that my decorative meditation cushion had been scrunched up under one of the baseboard heaters, heaters that had probably been out of fire code for half a century. I realized that my dog and cat had been playing with the cushion and stuffed it there I had seen them before, jumping on the slick, pretty red and yellow embroidered cushion and sliding across the smooth wooden floor on it. It had amused me that they had their own way of relating to the cushion upon which I sat to meditate. Somehow in play they had wedged the cushion up under the baseboard heaters and it was smoldering as it sought to ignite the house. It was fuming off billows of smoke such as only cheap, foreign fabric devoid of fire retardants can produce. The cushion had been quite expensive, quite pretty, and a pleasure to sit upon in meditation. I slung it outside, hosed water on it, opened all the house windows, and no harm done.

Caption: My Pets Set Fire In My House

by Annmarie Throckmorton 2019

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