Posted by: christinelaennec | April 30, 2013

Our little chimney sweep

Oh it’s been a funny old time!  Every day brings something new, and today is no different.  To go back a step, on Saturday evening, we had our last fire in our flat here in Aberdeen.  It’s something that we have really enjoyed for the 11 years we’ve lived here.

last fire, April 2013

last fire in Aberdeen, April 2013

It was very light at 7:15 pm, but chilly outside and in, and so the fire was welcome.

This morning, I cuddled beautiful Tilly in bed and admired her lovely white bib and paws for the umpteenth time – you know how cats are, they can never get enough admiration.  We then got the morning underway, which is a long process of helping the Dafter to awake and get up and breakfasted and dressed, etc.  Tilly reappeared and I picked her up, only to discover with horror that she was covered in soot!

No doubt she heard the seagulls or pigeons at the top of the chimney, and thought, they’re just up there out of reach!  And we must have forgotten to lock the fire guard into place after our last fire.  For this is not the first time Tilly has gone up the chimney!  (The Dafter:  “When Tilly got stuck up the chimney / we began to scream / Oh my God she’s covered in soot / we’ve got to get her clean!” – sung to the tune of “When Santa Got Stuck Up the Chimney”)

Then ensued a good hour of me chasing her around our small bathroom with various wet cloths and towels.

Tilly, our little chimney sweep.  30 April 2013.

Tilly, our little chimney sweep – having been cleaned off! 30 April 2013.

She’s now dry again, and has been brushed many times, and is confined to the kitchen.  I leave you to imagine the mess in the bathroom!  Walls, bathtub, floor…  covered with sooty marks.

Her paws and bib will be white again in a few weeks’ time.



  1. Not sure which is worse soot or paint. Some years ago whilst emulsioning a room one of the cats jumped into the paint tray balanced on the step ladder. I leave the rest to your imagination. Poor Tilly!

  2. Whoa, I can just imagine! Soot is a nightmare and can get absolutely everywhere even when not being transported about by a lively cat. However, Tilly has managed to look as adorable as ever after her little escapade. Look at those little paws! Very cute. I like the look of your bathroom walls too, is that red yachts and a lighthouse I see? The fire looks blissfully cosy.

  3. Hello! Thank you for finding my blog again. I did take a long break! As I am sewing more, I have more of an impulse to share online. I was quietly checking in on my blog list though – so still have you bookmarked!

    We have a busy cat that gets into “trouble” as well. He fell in a swimming pool, got porcupine quills in his face, and hurt his foot when an easel fell on him. He is a beautiful cat that we love, and he seems very resilient! They have 9 lives, right?

  4. I had a bit of a laugh at your cat story. We don’t have any cats at our house but I’ve just had breakfast with a friend who has 3 cats and she was telling me stories about how each one is different. They are quite the characters. I absolutely love your fireplace!

  5. lol, you gave me a laugh, I can just imagine the scenario. We have just bought a puppy and now spend many happy hours chasing him round the house to get him to drop various bits of clothing, toys, stones from the garden etc. Animals get up to all sorts of mischief, but they give us such amusement don’t they.

  6. I so need one of those around my house, Christine! (The cat, I mean.) The fireplace is beautiful – I hope your new house has one, too. ❤

  7. That’s quite an adventure for a small cat, Christine. And quite a clean-up operation, too!

  8. Oh my! Did Tilly let you put her in the tub and bathe her? That is quite an undertaking! Hopefully, Tilly is clean again soon!

  9. Oh my. Sounds kind of a fun adventure for Tilly but not so much for you. I admire how you and your sweet Dafter seemed to just take it all in stride. Such a lovely attitude. That was a beautiful fire. It is nice that you will have the photos later when you look back and remeber those days.

  10. This makes me feel nostalgic, because we used to have a fire in Aberdeen, and we really enjoyed it, and we don’t have that any more. Our cat Jeoffry used to like to lie right next the fire, and he would stay there until his fur became too hot to touch. Then he would suddenly realise that he had overdone it, and scoot off to cool down.
    Tilly looks adorable even with damp fur.

  11. Thanks everyone! Two days later and Tilly’s paws are still grey, but her bib is surprisingly white again. She knew she was “in the doghouse” and was very apologetic afterwards.

    Jill – paint would very definitely be worse than soot! I’m glad you all lived (I presume) to tell the tale.

    Lorna – yes, it’s wallpaper that was from Cath Kidston with boats and lighthouses on it. It’s been very cheery and bright for our extremely small bathroom.

    Maribeth – great to see you in blogland again. Porcupine quills! Jeepers!

    ajb and marksgran – yes, they are each individuals and they do give us great amusement and also such unconditional love.

    Stacy – our new house doesn’t have an open (coal/wood) fire but I think a “living flame” gas fire.

    Martin – yes, she is surprisingly adventuresome at times, for a small and very timid cat!

    Dianne – no way would I have managed to get her into a tub of water. But I used a lot of very wet cloths and just kept “petting” her with them against her will.

    softie1 – thanks for the lovely compliment about taking things in stride. I don’t know if we live up to that all the time, but we’ve had quite a bit of practice by now at being flexible about life and expectations, and trying to get the most happiness out of what’s possible.

    Flora – oh, what a lovely memory of Jeoffry! I hope he never actually got singed.

  12. Oh my! Life with a cat is never dull! I do hope you can get all the soot off your bathroom walls! They do take their hunting serious. Right before leaving on our recent trip, bags packed, keys in hand, my cat Maggie brought in a live mouse. After much scrambling, I did manage to catch it in an overturned tupperware bowl and escort it out, thank goodness!

    Your fireplace is lovely. xx

  13. The expression on Tilly’s face!

  14. So funny! Paint or porcupine quills would be worse, I think. We had a long haired Persian and had to bathe him ONCE due to a flea issue. The cat that appeared to weigh 18 pounds was actually skin and bones and lots of hair. In the middle of the bath, Max pulled his soapy tail back and smacked my husband’s face with it. Hilarious in retrospect!

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