Aly Explains the Strange Smudge on the Wood Stove Window

By , November 14, 2010

Now that winter’s upon us, I make a fire in the wood stove most mornings. I’m usually the first one up, so I like to get the cabin warmed before Michelle and Aly come down. Each morning, I start by cleaning the glass in the stove door. This is very important to us, not only because it looks nicer, but the glow of the fire adds considerable light to the room. I spend a few minutes scrubbing off the previous day’s soot and ash from the glass before lighting the fire.

Lately, there’s been one particularly stubborn stain on the glass that I haven’t been able to remove. The first few times I left it—I’ve learned that anything that I might miss while cleaning has a fair chance of burning off during the day. Often a good hot fire will either remove it, or loosen it up enough to get scrubbed off the next day. Not this time, though. I stepped up the process a bit, using a cleaner, and scrubbing as hard as I could each day.

Luckily, I got frustrated about it yesterday. When Aly came downstairs I remarked to her how it seemed impossible to remove the stain.

She asked, “Have you wiped the outside of the window?”

I hadn’t. As soon as I tried that, the stain came right off.

“How did you know?” I asked.

“I think that’s where Spice rubbed up against it yesterday,” she replied.

Spice, our cat, worships the wood stove. And, she’s really fond of Aly. When Aly sits on the hearth to warm herself by the woodstove, Spice often tries to get in between them, and will rub on both! She doesn’t seem to feel, hear, or smell her fur singing when she rubs against the hot stove, but we do. She recently scorched herself well, and that mysterious stain on the window is the mark she left from that.

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