Image via WikipediaI went to the kitchen counter to recharge the cellphone, an arm's length from a three-inch aromatic candle flickering on the stovetop. No sooner had I picked up the device, Melvin jumped from the floor onto the stove. I was distracted, so I didn't notice him at first, until something caught my eye and nose.
I swirled my head to the left to see Melvin's tail, to my huge horror, immersed in an orb of fire! His fluffy tail was directly over the candle flame, burning!
Casually, Melvin watched me drop the phone and the breakage.
I yelped, "MELVIN!!"
The shout startled him. He leaped to the floor and scurried away.
Vividly imagining our house torched to the ground by a frantic, roasting kitty, I was surprised to see the breeze around Melvy's speedy bottom blow out his blaze.
My wife and I raced to offer help and comfort. He seemed puzzled by the attention. He never cried. He never screamed. He just burned brightly.
Melvin was (formerly is) blessed with a glorious, bushy, slow-burning tail, which saved him. Quick attention to the tragedy at rear appendage kept the fire from reaching his flesh. Apparently, he never felt pain. It was only a fur wound.
We examined Melvin for damage and brushed away the scorched hair nubs from his smoking wagger.
"No more candles," said Donna.
We learned a life lesson. No more candles.
--With one exception. We had to light a bunch of candles to clear the air of the acrid Fireball Melvin stench.
Melvin ambled out to the porch for Squirrel Watch.
Oh. And where's Morty?
Morty slept through the entire incident, 10 feet away.