Cat Starts Fire With Toaster in Port Townsend, Latest in Long Line of Pyromaniac Pets

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Reports are coming from Port Townsend that, last night, Osiris the cat started Lois Lund's house on fire after falling asleep on a toaster and depressing the lever. The cat, ominously named Osiris, after the Egyptian God of the Dead, was apparently trying to stay out of the reach of the pet dog, that, despite chasing the cat around incessantly, maintains an arson-free record. Whatever the case, the cat is just the latest furry fire starter in a long line of accident prone pets.

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This outfit makes me want to kill you.
In today's incident, Lund blames the cat's "step aerobics" for depressing the lever on the toaster and causing the fire.

She says Osiris woke her up in the middle of the night and that's when she smelled the smoke and put the fire out with a garden hose before it could spread beyond the kitchen.

In another case involving a cat-caused fire, it was the dog who did the warning, ultimately laying down its life for its disabled owner.

That incident happened in Rhine, Wisconsin in 2006 when 49-year-old Jamie Hanson's cat knocked over a candle and started the house on fire. The woman had lost her leg in an accident and her specially trained service dog brought her a phone to call police. The house went up in flames, killing the dog and the cat, but Hanson was saved.

More recently, there's Bubba the Golden Retriever that, in February, alerted a Ft. Lauderdale family by barking after the cat--you guessed it--knocked over a candle and set the house on fire.

Not all the dogs in these cases are heroes. Storm the Jack Russell Terrier last year, dragged a still smoldering barbecue from the backyard into the living room of a Bristol, UK house and burned it down.

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Score one more for goats being the wicked spawns of Satan
Then there's the just-plain-weird ones like Jim and Kristi Giles in Warren County, Iowa, whose house burned down last year when one of their goats kicked over a space heater inside the shed that the couple kept it in. In that case, it was the cat that woke up the people and saved their lives.

The lesson in these cases might be to just not own pets. But since cats appear to be the most frequent arsonists and dogs (besides those evil Jack Russells) are usually doing the saving, maybe just owning dogs is the answer.

Either way, goats are completely out of the question.

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