I’ve got an old cat (Catskill) who really doesn’t like it when we go on vacation. You can pretty much count on him urinating somewhere, generally in my office, to show his general dissatisfaction with the turn of events.
When we got home from our recent trip to Costa Rica (below), we smelled an odd, plasticky smell in the house… definitely not cat-peeishTM. I looked around and couldn’t figure any obvious place it was coming from, until later in the evening when I entered my office.
This time, Catskill seems to have picked the wrong place to pee. He likes to do it in a corner, and in one corner of my office is the powerstrip that connects most of the networked stuff in my office — wireless hub, phone, DSL modem, SimpleShare server, printer, etc. He decided to pee directly into the powerstrip.
The carpet under the powerstrip was melted, nothing on the powerstrip was running, and there was a strong creosote smell. My first thought was lightning (since a phone cable was melted), or a device that shorted. I unplugged all the devices from the power strip to figure out which one caused the issue, plugging them into another power strip to make sure if anything had an issue I wouldn’t burn the house down. They all worked! Even the other side of the outlet that the APC was plugged in to was working fine, and no circuit breaker had been blown. Then I noticed the yellow stain on the power strip.
Apparently it caused a flareup in the room… there’s creosote covering all the power cables, the phone cable under the strip was completely melted, etc.
Catskill has been acting somewhat traumatized. I wonder why?
Top of APC… note the smoke marks around the outlets the cables were plugged in to.
Bottom. Nice melting around the hanging holes, and a big melt where there was a phone cable under it.
The carpet. Flare marks (this is post-cleanup). Glad it’s a wool carpet, or we might not have had a home to come home to.
By request, the culprit. Note the malevolent expression.