Trying to keep a clean house* with three young cats has its challenges.
We've learned to get rid of our "in" box on the office desk, because it became a cat bed and Molly routinely removed items from it to shred behind the CPU, where we couldn't get at her. There were several late bills/lost receipts before we became hip to that little trick.
Then there was the cache of socks I found way under the head of our bed (had to actually move the bed away from the wall to get at them). I had noticed that Michael's red socks had made a disappearing act, and figured they had gone to meet the Great Dryer in the Sky. Nope. They had fallen prey to a cat's horde.
We've learned to check the bathtub before starting a shower: Merlin likes to bring toys in there during the night. And knock over any available bottles of shaving cream within reach.
Then there's String. String is Miri's raison d'etre. If it is within reach, she will play with it. If it's thin enough, she will swallow it. I've pulled as much as two yards of yarn out of her at one time. (Pink yarn, too -- looked like I was performing a very complicated disembowelment.) So no string left out at any time.
... And then there's toilet paper. And paper towels (Molly's favorite). And sponges (eh? They travel in our house). And tissue paper. And Q-tips (Miri eats them).
Then there's the reason for this post:
Michael and I had separately noticed that our toaster was smoking when in use. Michael opted (logically) not to use the toaster. I used it anyway, figuring, "eh, it happens sometimes." (Becoming a firefighter was never in the cards for me, it seems.)
Finally Michael, sane man that he is, suggested that perhaps I should check out what was in the toaster that was making it smoke so copiously before putting in those frozen waffles. Oh, all right. Much fishing around (yes, I unplugged the appliance -- I'm irresponsible, not suicidal) with a (wooden) chopstick revealed the source of the smoke:
A chicken breakfast sausage link. That neither of us humans put in there. And the last time I made chicken breakfast sausages was ... ?
Well, that explains why the cats were playing with the toaster a few weeks ago.
* "Clean" is a relative term here, vaguely defined as "anything short of total squalor, depending on the humans' energy levels."