This is actually a serious post, but I wanted to add in the amusing part to improve the tone of it.
Those who know me well will know that I very rarely post a negative or sad story because whenever possible I prefer to be an upbeat and positive person in the lives of my family, friends and acquaintances. However, I believe that unpleasant as it is this story needs to be told. Fortunately it will be rescued at the end by a cat.
On Sunday evening I was mentally swishing across the ice with the latest stars of Dancing on Ice when something called me to go out into the hall. As I approached the front door I realised that there were reflections of blue flashing lights everywhere.
As you know this is never a good sign so I opened the front door with some trepidation, only to find that there were 3 fire engines outside my next door neighbours' house and n the drive was a distinctly melted dishwasher.
We went straight out and asked the fire personnel if there was anything that our neighbours required or anything we could do, and they assured us they'd pass on the message. We asked what happened and this is what they told us.
The circuit board on the dishwasher had malfunctioned and caused what could have been a very serious fire. Fortunately our neighbours were indoors at the time and had managed to evacuate the house and call the fire brigade before too much damage had been done. The fireman told us that dishwasher fires are one of their more frequent call outs. I asked if they had seen my neighbour's cat who normally naps in that garage but they said no.
The next day I visited my neighbour to check that all was well. She told me the whole story.
She had been about to dish up their evening meal when she realised that she was short of a plate, so she went out to the dishwasher and took out a plate to wash. Having done so, which as you can imagine took mere moments, she realised that she was also short of a fork and asked her husband to fetch one from the dishwasher. He went out to the garage to do so and called back in immediately that there were flames coming from the dishwasher and she should call the fire brigade and get the children and animals out of the house.
She did so, the fire brigade turned up and extinguished the fire, and all that remained was to find the cat. As you may imagine the family were fairly frantic that he couldn't be found and most concerned that he had run away in fear.
However, it didn't take long to find him. There he was, sitting in the bowl eating the final few mouthfulls of their supper, whiskers dripping with beef and potato. For a normally nervous cat he had sat solidly in their supper dish and applied himself to eating their food with great courage and gusto. Even flames, smoke and 15 fire personnel hadn't persuaded him to leave a burning building.
Fortunately all was well, everyone is ok and the cat didn't pop -well he had eaten the supper of 2 grown adults, two growing teenagers (and you know how much they eat) and a child.
The reason for telling you this story is to pass on the information given to us - never run an electrical appliance such as a dishwasher or washing machine overnight or whilst you're out.
I'm sorry to tell such a disturbing story and I certainly don't want anyone feeling worried, especially as it is so easy to remain safe by being in when these things are working and turning them off when you're out of the house.
I hope you enjoyed the cat part though. One last giggle. Our wonderful neighbours have rallied around providing crockery and such like as required, what did we provide? A spare cat collar because their old one was broken and they need to label their cat as he's one of three extremely similar cats within one small area. You can't get more neighbourly than that!