So I get home tonight and run to check on my venting kiln–it’s the mold moisture release phase of the cycle–and close everything up for the duration. Thanks to traffic jams I’m very, very late, so the kiln is up to 1300F instead of where it should be. The inside ends of the firebricks propping up the kiln lid are cherry red, and I’m spilling heat everywhere but where it should be. Drat.

I hurry over and nearly fall over Rajah, my fat little Abyssinian cat. He’s smack dab in front of the kiln opening, sleeping soundly in the hellish hot airflow, furry red belly aligned with the kiln lid.

I don my Kevlar gloves, gently remove the kilnbricks and close up lid and vents. Immediately, Rajah wakes up and glares at me, and I’m treated to a running commentary on idiot humans who think they can turn off the heat.

This is the same cat who, as a kitten, discovered he could jump up on the gas stove, insert the tip of his tail into the pilot light vent, and carefully back the tail all the way in to the base for nice, toasty nether regions. I shrieked when I saw him do that, visions of kitten-plus-tailfire flaming through my head, but the only way we truly stopped this nightly game was to buy a new stove. This is also the same cat who managed to neutralize my brand new heating system in my office.

It’s been 15 minutes, and he’s still complaining about the lack of heat in this place. Sheesh.